It's a rainy Tuesday. I'm here in my chair, catching up on many loose ends, and realizing that I have been so busy lately I haven't posted an update in a while. This is a good time of year for me. The school year is coming to a close, most of the "heavy lifting" (aka the aforementioned "busy-ness") has just come to an end, and I can anticipate a solid month of (mostly) uninterrupted studio time! I am also just at the beginning of the gardening season. The rain lightly spattering on the windows is a most welcome and refreshing sound as I anticipate turning over the soil, and the wonderful smell of fresh dirt on my hands.
In the meantime the artwork is moving along. All of the ceramic pieces have made it out of the firing sans cracks, and I have begun to experiment with the glazing. the initial experiment was not entirely successful, but I have some ideas which might prove quite lovely. That's the beauty of a failed experiment: when you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose!
In the meantime I am making bees from a little mold made from a dead bee I found. I don't know exactly what I am going to do with them yet, but they seem important.
I was doing a little surfing of artist calls this morning when I stumbled across one curated by the Sumpter County Gallery of Art in SC. Sounded pretty interesting, so I went to the SCGA website to check them out. This photo is from their "about" page. See the sculpture in the front right of the photo? That's one of mine, one of the pieces I made for my MFA Thesis show. HA! Who knew?
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.