I've been spending a good deal of studio time over the past weeks repairing cracks. For a number of years I spent a lot of energy trying to avoid getting cracks in the first place, but now I think the cracks are just a part of the process. Well, at least in my work. As I often tell my students, I don't know anyone who has a more "stupid" approach to clay than I do. The construction method I use puts more stress on the clay as it shrinks than it can handle, so cracks have to happen. But it also leads to results you can't get any other way. And so I spend hours grinding up clay into a fine powder and applying it with vinegar into the cracks, building up layer after tiny layer of "patch." Hours. I would guess it's taken about 10 hours to repair the cracks in this one piece.
Still, I find that I find a certain joy and satisfaction in the work, a lesson I am trying to learn to apply to all the other work (which keeps me from being in the studio) that I have had to do lately. Things crack. They take a lot if time and energy to repair. There can be a lot of joy and satisfaction in giving yourself over to the task, to being really attentive to it. It's so surprisingly hard for me to live in the present.
the studio chair
A place for me to ramble on when I need to take a break.