Friday, 22 November 2013

Did I mention that I love pottery?

The joy of working with clay has been keeping my hands and thoughts busy lately. I wait impatiently until each pottery class comes around, my head buzzing with ideas that I want to try. What if I try this shape, or will it work if I use this amount of clay? How will it look after it's fired? Will this glaze allow the drawing to show through?

I've been making jugs mostly. I love the idea of focusing on one type of object and trying the different variations that are possible within this constraint. I'm attracted to utilitarian objects, ones which have a use but can also be unashamedly decorative too. Also, I saw an exhibition once where an artist used an empty jug as a metaphor for art. She described how art can only exist where there is a void, and artists are driven to fill that void through creating art. The creation of art fills a void, whether it's an internal void, an absence of something in our environment or society. I wish I could remember the artist's name because this concept has stayed with me for a few years now. So now as I'm making jugs I think of voids and art and the intense pleasure that art making brings.

My lovely pottery teacher asked me a while ago if I had got into 'the zone' as I was working on the wheel, throwing another jug. At the time I was still battling with the wheel, with centrifugal force and trying desperately to make a piece that looked half decent. I told her that I was most definitely not in the zone yet. Then one day as I moved my body forward gently cupping and shaping the spinning clay, it happened easily. It felt as though the clay had started to yield as I had yielded, letting go of what I thought should be happening and worked with what the wheel offered. As the rhythmic spinning seduced my ears I lost awareness of my surroundings and I saw only what was in front of me. I'm now OK with a bit of wonkiness here and there, but more importantly, I can now say with confidence that I had found 'the pottery zone'.

Friday, 1 November 2013

New prints in shop

Yeah, I like trees. What about you? Do you love to sit under the generous, cool shade of an elm tree on a hot day? With your bare feet placed gently in the grass and your back pressed firmly against the rough bark, it's easy to feel all is right with the world.

There are four new prints about trees in my Etsy shop. Well, some of the trees have been chopped into logs, but they're still parts of trees nevertheless.