Yesterday was another rough deadline at the office. But it’s OK because this is where I got to spend my evening:
On this table are my tools, some pieces I’m working on and you see that round wheel back there? That’s the slab roller where I spend hours experimenting with textures, thicknesses and nature imprints. And there was even a little art photography going on in the hall back there.
This is the place; the place that takes me to a whole different kind of place – a place where I’m full of energy, my anxiety dissipates, my mind runs like a wild horse but at the same time is focused and still.
The hardest moment about working in the ceramics studio, for me, is when it’s time to go. I’m rarely ready to call it a night; I run around frantically trying to organize my supplies, wrapping unfinished pieces in layers of plastic, putting finishing touches on work ready for firing and so forth.
Last night, I was rushing to clean up the three tables I’d filled with work and supplies. I picked up a beautiful, large vessel I’d just finished – I grabbed it too harshly and it shattered. I was upset, but it happens (more often than I’d like to admit). It used to bother me more but now I’ve accepted it as part of the process.
These learning lessons I gain from working with clay fill me with gratitude.
My first night back in the studio (after a year hiatus), the tech showed me the shelf where I would keep my work. And at the end of the night he looked at the three shelves I’d filled and said: “Now I remember you: You produce a lot of work.”
Last night, his comment was: “We’re going to have to get more boards so the students have somewhere to put their work.” He’s nice about it. And in my mind I’m grinning, thinking his comments to me are more compliments.
I know my passion may seem a bit fanatical at times – so thanks for letting me share. Can’t wait to post some pics when these puppies are finally bisqued, glazed and fired! Here are some WIPs and studio shots:
Here are a few of my favorite ceramicists. I follow them on Instagram, it’s so fun to learn from their processes. Ben Medansky; Young in the Mountains; Leah Ball (she does really rad stuff with marbling clay – and I got to meet her at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair this summer); and Elephant Ceramics. Their work inspires me to keep going. There’s something about this feeling; it just feels so right.
Oh, and sorry for the poorly lit iPhone shots, I’ll bring my camera next time. Have an awesome week!