I took a break from making pots for two months. Part of that was of my choosing, part of that was due to other demands on my time. In any case it was the first time I had had that kind of break from making for as long as I can remember- I suspect I've never been away from the wheel for that long since I started making pots 30+ years ago!
I finally got back to the wheel and thought I'd start out just by making some simple bowls. It's an easy form for me, and I can approach them like sketches: I can explore ideas without much investment of time or energy. I had a general idea of what I wanted these to look like, and decided to approach them in a slightly different way than I typically approach making bowls.
From the very first bowl these forms felt special. I was getting a fluid broad curve off of a narrow base the felt very natural, like a flower opening from a bud. There was an easy rhythm to my throwing that was controlled but allowed the clay's voice to come through. So much of what I want my work to do was coming out in these forms, and without me having to force it to happen.
I have now trimmed all these bowls and they are waiting for their first firing. I am really excited about the direction these are taking, and I'm hoping to be able to recreate some of the fluidity of that session of working on the wheel in coming weeks. In the meantime I think there is a really important lesson for me, so I thought I'd better put it in the blog so I would remember it. Here it is:
Dave, take time off every once in a while. Make other stuff, go find things that inspire you and spend time with them, or just sit and ponder. It all makes your work better.
the studio chair
A place for me to ramble on when I need to take a break.