During the past two decades, Jamie Myers has put together a laudable underground resume: Hammers Of Misfortune, Wolves In The Throne Room and Sabbath Assembly. However, the multi-talented vocalist wasn’t content with just music. She recently opened a ceramics business in her home state of Texas, in part to combat her feelings of inertia. Jamie talked to Decibel about Snakehand Craft. Please check out her business and consider purchasing some of her original creations after you read her piece below.
My internal conversation as of late consists of me asking myself if I’m on the right path. What do I want to invoke outside of music? Am I allowing enough time for other artistic endeavors, or just becoming complacent? What else do I want to accomplish in life? What do I even have time for?
It’s hard to not let the mundane routine of punching a time clock rob you of your creativity. Most of us don’t want to go through life on autopilot or working a lame-ass job. In reality, we have to eat and have a roof over our heads. A stable job can provide that far easier than trying to make a living off art and music. You’re considered lucky if you have a job that allows you time off to tour or to foster your creativity. Meanwhile, the pay is usually shitty and they’re not the kind of jobs known for having healthcare and a 401k. The day-to-day job may keep the lights on, but at what cost? What part of our soul and inner child do we risk losing along the way, while we struggle to make ends meet?
It made me dizzy just thinking about it. Before getting too panicked and having a full-blown mid-life crisis, I steadied myself and asked why I need art to make me feel complete. The answer was simple. I create because it fuels me. I create because I need the intensity and fire. What better way to bring that heat and authenticity into my life than with an art form that dates back to 10,000 BC and revolves around flame itself? I knew I needed to get my hands dirty again, to make something with substance that was worth holding on to. I needed to work with clay.
I dabbled with clay and studied other various arts while in college. I spent a few years experimenting with ceramics, photography, and oil painting, and yet the music was what beckoned to me like no other. At the time, I didn’t want to risk becoming a Jack of all trades, master of none, so I eventually gave it all up so that I could focus solely on music.
Decades later, I regretted letting go of the earthy medium and other art forms. Every time I caught myself daydreaming about getting back to my roots I would come up with a laundry list of excuses. Then it dawned on me: there was nothing keeping me from it except self-doubt. I realized that in the past I had never shied away from a challenge or goals I wanted to achieve, so why should I approach this stage of life any different? Armed with newfound clarity and some answers to the existential questions burning a hole in my brain, Snakehand Craft was born. A moniker and platform for me to create and share art under, part of which includes an Etsy store.
The first phase of Snakehand Craft revolves around ceramics. I make baubles, jars, one-of-a-kind vases and witchy stoneware. Hand formed, each one created with care and purpose. Authentic forms with dark clay bodies that will hold mysterious offerings for your altar. Soulful pieces that resonate in the palm of your hand. Tiny vessels meant to be nestled away on your favorite bookshelf, or tucked away on a nook. If that doesn’t float your boat, I also make wheel thrown pieces, like bowls, planters, sake sets, and all sorts of tumblers that are perfect for holding coffee, tea, cocktails, or the blood of your enemies while you slake your thirst. Whatever the beverage of choice, it tastes better in a handmade mug.
At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is to stop the naysaying and put yourself out there and make music and art. It would be a pitiful existence without it. We need to keep a spark of that childlike curiosity alive and make cool things along the way. At least that’s what I plan on doing. Eventually, I will explore and work with the other mediums that went by the wayside in my youth. They’ll be incorporated into the shop, too. I’m looking forward to the possibilities. For now, I’ll keep my head clear, my hands in the mud and the wheel spinning.