Catch Thurston Baker on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings, where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. And let's get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:21] Good morning pirates. And thank you for being here. Welcome to the party today. We're going to highlight an artist in ceramics, Thurston, welcome to the party.
Thurston Baker: [00:00:34] Thank you for having me.
Russ Johns: [00:00:35] Congratulations on becoming a pirate. One of the things that we love to do in the pirate community is start a conversation, engage people and reach out. So I know that you're a ceramic artist. And one of the things that I love to do, I've been in and out of the arts for a long time. In fact, I've deejayed to some art museums and, doing different shows and different activities. And one of the things that amazes me is just the processes of spinning a clay into something that's such an amazing piece of work. How did you decide or how did you get into to pottery and ceramics?
Thurston Baker: [00:01:20] I started in elementary school, you could take an after-school art class and they didn't really have ceramics there, but it got my mind going on that creative vein. And I realized I had a natural name for that. I've always been an entrepreneur in mind. Very creative. Very mechanical. So I'm able to fix almost anything that's already been created, but the middle school went along. I was in our classes and they had like your regular project you had to do. And I would do my best to finish up my regular project as quickly as I could, because you could go into the back of the art room and get on the wheel and wheel throw, for the rest of the time allotted for that. And then when I was in high school, I was in advanced art for two years, my junior and senior year. And then I let the dream die for a long time. I'm a recovered alcoholic. For the last 12 years I've been doing this full time. I reinvigorated the dream about 12 years ago and we moved to this house. I built a studio in the backyard and just started doing it.
Russ Johns: [00:02:26] That's fantastic. With anything that we do, we have this journey. I was talking to Mark O'Brien yesterday, about how nothing we do in life is a straight line. It's not point Ato point B. And it sounds like you had a few travels down a few bumpy roads and a few things that had you...
Thurston Baker: [00:02:46] I created them for myself.
Russ Johns: [00:02:48] Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It's okay. You create these experiences for ourselves that either teaches us or we fail, it's like a failure as we either learn or fail, necessary. How did you break that that process for yourself? What was it that made you decide that it was going to be different for your future?
Thurston Baker: [00:03:11] I was 30 and I'd been married three years and my wife pretty much laid down the shape up or ship out idea. And so I went with it and she said, I'm going away to Carney this weekend, which is the town that, where her parents live about two hours from here. And she said, either you can drink all weekend and I'll know you have, or you can go to one of the meetings that I circled on the list upstairs. I got a meeting list for alcoholics anonymous and put it upstairs. And she went off to Carney. That's a longer story, but I went to that meeting, never drank again, and I was a full-blown alcoholic, I was puking and shit and blood for about a year.
Russ Johns: [00:03:56] Wow. Well, welcome back, it's a good thing that you got through that and yeah. Oh, it's all positive. It's all positive. Absolutely. So walk us through the process that how you just picked up a pot again and...
Thurston Baker: [00:04:13] Once you've done something to a certain degree, it's like riding a bike. Built a studio in the backyard, already had a kiln and shelving and a table and a wheel that my brother-in-law found when he lived in Denver with his wife. There was a gal down the street that had I think it was ceramic jewelry business. And she was older. She was like in her sixties, late sixties. And so she sold all that to me, well, to him and then to me and I put that all in the studio and I just went at it. A lot of the knowledge was already there. I had to ask some questions, look some things up, but. Yeah, I'm a pretty big audio book listener. And about five years ago, I moved away from the philosophy I was believing in and changed to another one. So I'm always evolving for the positive.
Russ Johns: [00:05:06] Well, Mark and I were talking about yesterday just become a better person tomorrow than you were yesterday. That's the reality of life is as we can always be improving.
Thurston Baker: [00:05:20] Or you're the opposite type that always believes you're always failing. It's living a life of lack or living in a life of abundance and you can believe in either one and then your subconscious mind takes you at your word. So if you want to tell it that you're a loser, well, you will be.
Russ Johns: [00:05:42] A victim mentality. Absolutely. Yeah. I think there's a lot of people that are looking for hope. So it sounds like you're someone that has a tendency to spread that abundance mindset, the whole...
Thurston Baker: [00:05:56] Yes, I'm an encourager.
Russ Johns: [00:05:58] Encourager. That's a great way of putting it. What are some examples you used in your pottery? Are you doing some shows or you're doing some virtual shows or video or anything like that?
Thurston Baker: [00:06:09] I've done some virtual shows so far? But what I've found in the last two and a half months after I pivoted at the end of October into the virtual world I got a podcast coach. His name is Paul Rogers and I went through his whole, a class it's a class on how to do video podcasting to try to promote my work, get people to go to my website, but what I've found, it just takes forever. I'm a doer. So I just, I did that for two and a half months to see if it would take off. And then I just resigned up for shows like a few weeks ago and I'll get my shows set up for this year again, like I did last year and I'm sure it'll roll fine. I got a website, anybody can purchase on, I've had that for about a year.
Russ Johns: [00:06:53] Very cool. Very cool. I want to say hi to a few people in the room. Darleen from Florida silver Fox talks. Yeah. Yeah. I adore Thurston's aret. I can't wait for this. Fantastic. You already have some friends in the pirate community Thurston. Yep. So Kate says, hello Russ. Jenny Gold says hello. Good morning. Pirates. Thank you so much. Michael Baker, good morning.
Thurston Baker: [00:07:19] That's ironical.
Russ Johns: [00:07:24] Things are happening for you rather than to you. How do you feel about that?
Thurston Baker: [00:07:29] Absolutely. And when they happen to you, turn them into freaking roses.
Russ Johns: [00:07:34] Yeah. Nurture that stuff.
Thurston Baker: [00:07:36] Absolutely. You can either get angry or you can laugh.
Russ Johns: [00:07:41] Exactly.
Thurston Baker: [00:07:42] When somebody cuts you off in traffic, you can either laugh or you can get mad at them. If you get mad at them does absolutely nothing because other than make your emotions rise and make you feel horrible. So I quit doing that. Whatever people think about me is none of my business. So if I made a mistake and cut someone else off, I feel apologetic inside, but at the same time, it's suck it up and deal with it. That's life. I don't do it intentionally. It's not malicious. I mean, when I'm dashing, I'm doing my door dashing. I can't be correct in 100%. So hopefully people have grace and forgiveness and if they don't, I really don't care.
Russ Johns: [00:08:26] Howard says congrats on taking your life to the next level. Absolutely. Absolutely. We're all figuring it out. The one thing that I thought that this pandemic would do a better, or at least a better reaction to the pandemic would be a lot more community, a lot stronger idea that, hey, this is something we all need to work together on. In the U S it's been rather challenging for the last year and without getting into politics. I mean, it's the mindset exactly. Like you're talking about. That makes the difference in how, I wake up with #gratitude every morning that I get up. Number one, number two, that I have a house roof over my head, and I have all the things I need. All my needs are met. And I'm #grateful for that. And a lot of people don't see it that way. They see it. You know that things are going wrong and it's not ideal. And they don't have stuff that continues. The struggle continues. It perpetuates that.
Thurston Baker: [00:09:33] They already had that victim mentality. So that will just roll forward. The more you think that way. And they get up in the morning, they're like, Oh, great, the struggle continues. Well, the more you say those types of negative things to your subconscious mind, the more that's going to become reality.
Russ Johns: [00:09:50] Yeah. So have you always felt that way or is that something that you've had?
Thurston Baker: [00:09:54] I was very much like the person I just described before I got sober. I was the party or have a good time, but I was always sad. I was always depressed when I wasn't doing that. I was very much in the lack mentality. Oh, when is it going to happen for me? We have to go make it happen.
Russ Johns: [00:10:12] Yeah. Yeah. It's like a flywheel in motion, once it goes, once it starts down a certain path you have to add to it. You have to nurture it.
Thurston Baker: [00:10:23] Stay in that positive mode. Stay in that positive area.
Russ Johns: [00:10:27] Yeah.
Thurston Baker: [00:10:28] Yeah. I'm a stoic mentality.
Russ Johns: [00:10:31] Yeah, I've been reflecting on stoicism for awhile now. And Mark is really...Seneca. Absolutely. And some of the things that they think about is it's like almost every part of my body has been damaged at some point in time through my shenanigans. I feel that I've lived. I feel that ache and pain.
Thurston Baker: [00:10:57] And I'm glad that I have.
Russ Johns: [00:10:59] Yeah. Be grateful for it. Absolutely. So what are some things that you, that I know we all get down at times, we all have to tell ourselves that, okay. Hey. Stop and pause, reflect on what is and understand what can be and what direction do I want to choose to move into. So how are some techniques that you could maybe share with some people that are struggling right now in the community?
Thurston Baker: [00:11:27] Well, one thing I can say first is it's all about 100% personal responsibility and accountability. I mean, people have to realize that their feelings and what they're doing is their own. So whatever happens to them, they did it to themselves. They can say, Oh no I didn't. Yes you did. If you look at the core of what just happened, you got that ball rolling. And that's why you're upset right now is because you did it to you, but there's a way to get rid of that. It's taken a long time for me to understand how to do that , years in alcoholics anonymous, but also You just gotta realize you're doing the best you can. People got to quit being so hard on themselves. You're never going to be perfect. I don't like getting up in the morning. It's one of my least favorite things in life. And that's why when I took this show and it was early in the morning, I was like, Oh, well maybe I won't do it. And then it said, well, it was mountain time. And I'm like, Oh, that's an hour earlier. So that means an hour later here I can get up by eight. Yeah. Do I get up every day and slap my hands together and say, oh, today is going to be a great day. No, but I do that a lot of times when it's around 10 o'clock because a lot of times later on, yeah, you just gotta, you gotta meditate. If people have never tried it or they put meditation down , they say it doesn't work for me, then they haven't found the right method for them because there's different methods of meditation. You have to get into that peaceful state where you can hear that still small voice telling you that you can do it. And that's mostly what it is. I know I can do it. My self esteem is high and my confidence is high and it stays there. It waivers sometimes, like you said, there's some days where it's like,oh man, wow, that's a big mountain today. But if you don't start moving up the mountain, you're just going to stay at the base and you, I know that's not where they want to be.
Russ Johns: [00:13:36] Well, they said the first rung of the ladder to success is always the most crowded.
Thurston Baker: [00:13:41] And I always say that failures the first step to success, it's trial and error it's live and learn.
Russ Johns: [00:13:48] Michael Baker says we can't make things happen as when we try and control everything. When something doesn't go as planned, you feel out of control.
Yeah. Well, the reality is we have, whenever we're in control, we're never in control. We only have control through our reactions of what happens to us.
Thurston Baker: [00:14:11] It's a myth. No one's ever actually in control. Only God's in control.
Russ Johns: [00:14:16] Yeah. Hiett in from Houston. Hello pirates. Thank you so much for being here. And Michael also says, yes, you have to water your garden daily. That's why. I'm not a morning person either. I was a musician for years Thurston and played at night. Oftentimes I would, get home before the sun came up.
Thurston Baker: [00:14:39] Dang straight. That's the life I live for 30 years.
Russ Johns: [00:14:42] Yeah. And the next thing you know, I'm working to get up in the morning, inject my positive ideas and conversations just like this in the morning to start my day off, make sure that I have a productive enjoyable place to hang out.
Thurston Baker: [00:15:02] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:15:03] Have a conversation, share a few inspirational moments. People like yourself are setting an example.
Thurston Baker: [00:15:10] That's why I glommed on to you, because I saw a couple of your shows and I'm like, oh, this guy's so totally what I like. One of my biggest heroes in life is Larry Wingette if you've ever heard of him before.
Russ Johns: [00:15:22] Yeah.
Thurston Baker: [00:15:23] Okay. Yeah. You remind me of him a little bit, but more in the smiley, like a smiley positive Larry Wingette. Larry can be very in your face, but that's what I love about him. And that's where I get that phrase from whatever people think about me is none of my business.
Russ Johns: [00:15:43] None of my business.
Thurston Baker: [00:15:45] That's right.
Russ Johns: [00:15:46] And like I said, you have to work on the person you are tomorrow. History is history. I can't fix what that is and as soon as I anchor myself to the past...
Thurston Baker: [00:15:57] Don't ever do that. Stay in the present and just a little bit of the future, never go to the past anymore. That was one of my major difficulty up till about five years ago. When I started, when I read like Robert Conklin's a positive mind and Joseph, Murphy's the power, your subconscious mind and all those books that go around it. Yeah. Put the past away, I mean put the past away.
Russ Johns: [00:16:25] I love that.
Thurston Baker: [00:16:26] Get off that ledge my friend, or step away from that ledge, my friend. That's a great song by the way.
Russ Johns: [00:16:33] I'm not sure. It doesn't ring a bell. Who is it?
Thurston Baker: [00:16:38] Third eye blind, I think.
Russ Johns: [00:16:39] Okay. All right. Yeah.
Thurston Baker: [00:16:43] It's in the movie. Yes, man.
Russ Johns: [00:16:45] Okay. I'll have to go check that out. 2021, I don't think is going to be substantially different than 2020 in terms of the pandemic. What I do believe though, is conversations like this, Thurston, are going to develop and increase and improve the way people see what they're doing, what they're really reflecting on. And what they do, what value it brings to the table. So it's really about what we can focus our attention on. And that's what you're talking about is what you focus. So what are some things that...
Thurston Baker: [00:17:25] You got to change yourself. If you don't like the things that are going on around you, you got to start with yourself, you got to look within and change you first. It's like when the oxygen mask falls in the plane, Who uses it first? You do!! Anything you've got?
Russ Johns: [00:17:44] Yeah, it's fantastic. Silver Fox. Darleen says you rock my friend. Who's she talking, but listening as usual, she is awesome. She's an awesome individual that I truly will be in a pirate community. I have met some amazing individuals all around the world, tremendous friendships,
So have I this last four months. Absolutely.
So there is benefit, people that are you're crying the blues, there are benefits if you go look for them. Every obstacle has an opportunity.
Thurston Baker: [00:18:20] That's right. You just got to get over that obstacle. You got to get out of them blues.
Russ Johns: [00:18:26] All right. Jenny Gold I like your attitude. I agree. Living in the past is death for us. Jordan says, Hey, Russ. Jordan, good morning. I hope you're well, hope class and school are going well for you. And picking up. Making progress every single day. I want to shift the gears. What do you see in the shows? I mean, when you go to a show, how many pieces of pottery do you have to, or how many pieces of ceramic do you have to create for a typical show Thurston? Or how do you like to bring to a show? Say that again?
Thurston Baker: [00:19:03] 200 to 300 pieces to a show.
Russ Johns: [00:19:05] Wow.
Thurston Baker: [00:19:09] They're usually two day shows, they're Saturday and Sunday and you gotta have a good variety. And you got to have some things that, a group of mugs, a group of French butter dishes group of, some people can have some choice. It's super interesting. I mean, art's a very tough field to make a whole lot of money in, but it's not something I give a crap about. Well, a lot of people care about money. That's one of their biggest problems. They care too much about money and what standing they will gain by having X amount of dollars and all that BS of capitalism. Like I said, about five years ago, I started to understand that and I'm like, well, I don't need a million dollars. I just need enough to get a double quarter pounder on Thursday, don't care about the varieties and the helicopters and the speed boats and all that junk. I care about what money can't buy, which is forgiveness and honor and nobility. And personal responsibility and all of those wonderful qualities that each individual can possess and they often give it up for money
Russ Johns: [00:20:29] Yeah, integrity.
Thurston Baker: [00:20:30] If you give up those things you can never buy them back.
Russ Johns: [00:20:34] Yeah. That's so true. That's so true. All my needs are, all my needs are met.
Thurston Baker: [00:20:41] Oh. And then some. My cup overfloweth brother.
Russ Johns: [00:20:44] Yeah. Yeah. And, taking care of family and friends it's really important for us to stay connected. I was thinking the other day about who would I call if I had car trouble, and it's who would you call? If you have friends that you could call and they could pick you up and give you a ride or help you fix your car or do move, somebody with a truck it's like those kinds of friends are the ones you want to build a relationship with the people that would show up if you couldn't show up.
Thurston Baker: [00:21:26] But I would honestly say the first person that make sure, can do it, is do your best to know as much about the situation as possible so that you don't get into that situation. Those types of situations rarely happened to me because over time I've developed an understanding of how cars work. I have a friend that I met the last few months. She said who would you call if you have to get rid of a dead body instead of get your car fixed, that's even a more reliable person.
Russ Johns: [00:22:02] Yeah. Lots of trust there, huh?
Thurston Baker: [00:22:06] Well, my wife, and if she's not available, I guess I would start walking.
Russ Johns: [00:22:13] That's awesome. Jeff Young says, take a little clay, put it on a wheel, give it a hint. God must feel, give a little turn, listen to it, spin, make it in the shape you want it.
Thurston Baker: [00:22:25] We've got a poet in our midst.
Russ Johns: [00:22:28] Jeff's an awesome individual that you should probably connect with, network and make all sorts of terrific energy. LinkedIn guru. And Darren Birch he's here from Arizona. #Smilesarefree and priceless.
Thurston Baker: [00:22:43] That they are.
Russ Johns: [00:22:44] Love that.
Thurston Baker: [00:22:45] You have to give a smile, never a frown, or a blank face.
Russ Johns: [00:22:49] Catch up Darren soon. Jordan says the joy coming from the creative processes is incomparable. That's how I feel when I make music, I can, well...
Thurston Baker: [00:22:59] those are all creative abilities.
Russ Johns: [00:23:01] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Thurston Baker: [00:23:04] What kind of music did you do?
Russ Johns: [00:23:07] Well, I started playing when I was 16, so I played country. I played everything from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa.
Thurston Baker: [00:23:14] Do you still do concerts and stuff.
Russ Johns: [00:23:19] The last time I performed, I was doing dubstep in Houston, Texas.
Thurston Baker: [00:23:23] Yeah, I know what dubstep is I have a guy from Minneapolis that's younger. He's really good at it.
Russ Johns: [00:23:29] Yeah. And so I got into electronic music after I fell. I fell in 87. I was a drummer and I fell in 87 and shattered my arm. And it took me two years in rehab and reconstruction.
Thurston Baker: [00:23:41] There it is. Everybody goes through these incredible struggles that makes them into these awesome people.
Russ Johns: [00:23:47] Go to the crucible, live through the fire.
Thurston Baker: [00:23:50] That's right. So I love Marvel. The Marvel universe. I'm a huge comic book collector. I love science fiction. I've collected comics since I was 10. I finally just recently got all the Ms Marvels and all of the Savage She Hulks and all the original amazing adventures so I'm excited about that.
Russ Johns: [00:24:11] Fantastic. Leslie is in from Houston. Hello, Leslie. Good morning. Jordan says that makes two of us gospel, jazz and country for me.
Thurston Baker: [00:24:22] Cool.
Russ Johns: [00:24:23] We have some musicians in the pirate community. We're going to, we're going to do a jam session here one day.
That's cool. I hope I can watch
Thurston Baker: [00:24:30] that one.
Russ Johns: [00:24:31] Yeah, that would be fantastic. I would love to do that. I think that would be a great time. SoI would love to allow people to get over and experience your pottery and your ceramics and your artwork so where is the site that they need to go to?
Thurston Baker: [00:24:48] titaniaceramics.com
Russ Johns: [00:24:52] Okay.
Thurston Baker: [00:24:53] Titania. It's named after a moon that, that circles Uranus. I wanted my business to be named after some celestial body or something in space.
Russ Johns: [00:25:02] Okay. Very cool. I love that idea. So when's the next show potentially coming up. Tomorrow.
Thurston Baker: [00:25:13] I'm in Spencer, Iowa tomorrow.
Russ Johns: [00:25:15] Oh, fantastic. Well, I love that you came on the show and I know you've got a lot going on lot to do. So are you on social media at all?
Thurston Baker: [00:25:27] Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn, facebook, Instagram. Those three places. I don't post a lot on Facebook, but I do have my titania ceramics page there, and people can look at all the pottery there, but anything to purchase, they can go to titaniaceramics.com and everything that I have to offer is there.
Russ Johns: [00:25:46] That's fantastic. Well, I really appreciate you stopping by and becoming a pirate and being part of the community. And I know there's so many people out there that are looking to. You'll be inspired by people like yourself that are going out there and doing the work, enjoying life, staying positive and setting an example.
Thurston Baker: [00:26:10] If anybody is on the line that's on the cusp and they just can't seem to figure it out, send them to me, man, send them to me. I'll coach them and talk them through. I'm not a legitimate coach like you, but I've been through it.
Russ Johns: [00:26:25] Well, we've all been through something that we can teach someone else. You just got to enjoy it and thrive when you can and just continue to grow and evolve and become a better person.
Thurston Baker: [00:26:35] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:26:37] Jenny says, what's your IG handle? Instagram. Who are you on Instagram?
Thurston Baker: [00:26:45] I think it's under titania ceramics.
Russ Johns: [00:26:48] Okay, cool. Overcomers are achievers. Michael Baker says love that. That's right. David Riley. I love John Coltrane.
Thurston Baker: [00:27:01] I like Charlie Parker. Coltrane can get eerie or, cause some of his music gets out there as far as jazz goes, but I liked him.
Russ Johns: [00:27:09] Yeah. My, what comes most naturally and flows to and through you. So that would be ceramics for you Thurston.
Thurston Baker: [00:27:20] Mostly just energy. Every piece I make has God's energy in it. And when you purchase it, you're not only have a part of me, but you have a part of the earth. I want people to go to their kitchen, open up their kitchen cabinets because all my stuff is useful. It's all like mostly kitchenware. It's just, you get the best of both worlds. You get the beauty and the functionality. But I want them to open up the cabinets and just gain energy from and be like, Oh man, today's going to be a great day. I'm so glad I bought those pieces from him and rock on. I mean, they're all one of a kind pieces, nothing's made in China, All those things.
Russ Johns: [00:27:56] It's a beautiful thing, everyone. Thank you so much for being here Thurston. I really appreciate you and enjoyed the conversation. And also if you found this interesting or you found some value in the content and the conversation here today shared out, please, that's how we're growing in the pirate community. I'm always working on ways that we can actually enjoy another conversation. Keep things involved. Keep things engaged and keep moving forward and stay positive because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday.
Thurston Baker: [00:28:36] Will do.
Russ Johns: [00:28:37] Thanks Thurston
Thurston Baker: [00:28:38] You're welcome.
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