Shop update, confidence, and big Taurus season energy

I have been promising a shop update since January but I have had to just keep postponing the date… well it’s finally coming 28 April! Read below to find out more.

Having a wonderful fulltime job means I only have limited time to spend on potting and I decided I needed to focus on making work for the Newtown Open Studios in March.

Taurus season is upon us

Well, that is now done and dusted (and a huge success! Thank you everyone for coming!) and I finally have had some time to get organised and make work for a shop update for people outside of Pōneke. This happens to coincide with the start of Taurus season. The fast paced fiery Mars ruled Aries season is behind us and we are in the midst of the steady and sensual Venus ruled Taurus season.  All three of the earth signs (including Taurus) are rooted in the physicality of the world and the body, but Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of pleasure, love, and money. Taurus season is not only about the work the body can do, but about the pleasure it can feel, too. That includes delicious food on lovely plates, sipping warm teas from mugs that feel delightful on the lips, and other such pleasures. I have Taurus as as my rising sign so can definitely identify with the desire to have a pleasurable home, full of physical objects I enjoy and good food, especially fitting as we enter peak autumn.

Shop update

The shop update will go live 28 April at 10am. So mark your calendars! I will make an announcement on Instagram too 🙂

For this update I have tried to make 2 of most things, so that I don’t have so many individual items to photograph!

boob mugs

Some new pieces include mugs with phrases like ‘My illness is chronic but my ass is iconic’ (I saw that on the internet somewhere and stole it). I also have some ‘Papatūānuku is our CEO’ mugs (inspired by Bek Coogan!) which I don’t normally do, ‘Fuck off I’m reading’, ‘Fuck off I’m writing’, and just plain ‘Fuck off’ when you really just want people to leave you alone and do you really need to explain why?

Ask me about the confidence gap

Also included in this update are mugs that say ‘Ask me about the confidence gap’. This is an idea I have been playing around with for a while. I read an article a few years ago about the confidence gap between men and women. One of my goals with my work is to raise awareness about topics like this and start conversations. So next time you want to sit down for a cup of tea, remember, confidence  ≠ competence.

ask me about the confidence gap mug

This is something I have been thinking about for a while after being passed over for a promotion in favour of a male colleague a few years ago. My manager (also male) told me I just needed to ‘be more confident’ and ‘create more opportunities for myself to show leadership’. My first reaction was that it was so much easier said (especially for a middle-class straight white man like my manager) than done. Society has conditioned me to be supportive and nurturing, to not speak up unless I’m sure everyone else in the room feels comfortable and I have something really important to say. That doesn’t lend itself to stepping toes to create leadership opportunities for myself.

The Atlantic article linked to above cites numerous studies finding that men routinely overestimate their abilities while women underestimate theirs. Why? And what can we do about it? I think by starting to raise awareness around these issues we can begin to achieve more equity and address this gap in understanding.

After an experience taking steroids that were essentially synthetic testosterone for my chronic illness and the unreal ego and confidence boost (and libidinal boost!) it gave me I gained a lot of perspective into the biological aspects of confidence. However, scientists in these studies have also suggested that confidence can be acquired.

So, with that in mind I have been trying to do a sort of confidence training for myself. It’s still not easy for me, despite having a PhD I feel like an imposter and fraud a lot of the time, but I’m trying to just speak up and be more confident in myself and my work more. I don’t necessary want to overestimate my abilities, but I want to stop second-guessing myself.

I don’t know if I will ever recapture that irrational Prendisone-induced confidence again (or if I’d even want to!) but at least I can help start some conversations about these kinds of things. I’m not trying to say any one way is better, just that there is a gap we should be aware of. I like to hope we live in a society that has space for both the masculine & feminine ways of being in this world, and the varying levels of confidence each of us exude. I know there are dudes out there who struggle with confidence too. So those are some of my goals with this work, and I appreciate and value the opportunity to share it and this story with you.

I don’t think the answer is just telling women to be more confident. What I really hope is to help facilitate is a shift in what we value as a society that moves away from confidence and bravado towards empathy and emotional intuition.

I’ve also got some work coming in this update that references reading, space, domestic chores, and energy all with their own stories and goals, and my hope is that they will all find forever homes and spark conversations, or just be used and appreciated (she says confidently).

…and I’ve got some planters, fun salt pigs, and pretty things because it’s officially Taurus season and we should all surround ourselves and homes with beautiful sensual objects!

Thanks again for being interested in my work and feel free to get in touch anytime with feedback, comments, commissions, or stories!

Author: niceassets

Kia ora, I'm Nicole of Nice Assets Workshop. I put the ‘fun’ in functional ceramics with sustainable and socially conscious ideology underpinning my pottery.

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