My first evening at the local pottery club was late last year. I finally made it back there last week!
This business of busy-ness has so much to answer for when it comes to creative realisation. It is never a lack of inspiration - woooah! that inspiration is layered everywhere! But it is with determination that I am making time and space to experience my clay story.
At the centre of this determination are two main threads. I think that by sharing my clay story I can help others to cover off the basics as I go. Then the deeper, more personal goal is to move from muddling to proficiency in my clay story.
Anyway.... back to last week. I was at the club and really wanted to start this experience. I knew I really needed to learn all about this wedging and kneeding. But I just hadn't done my research!
The thing about clay is it is always recyclable. Every wash and scrap can be accumulated and used again. Green ware can be sent back to the soak bucket and brought through the clay working process again.
It is because of this that I jumped right in the centre and took unprepared balls of clay to the wheel.
Yeeeha! I was out of control!
With little more real knowledge than a decade old memory and inspiration from Demi Moore, I wobbled and wonked to a small collection of shapes.
There will be time for reflection later, but for now!!! - I have started!
This is #thistleburnpottery - my clay story.
I have started with Pottery. What I probably mean is I have started with pottery again. There was that tiny effort back in the picket fence years when I would escape once a week to play with mud.
My responsible inner voice tried to talk me out of it. "You really should be cutting the thistles instead!"
Yet another voice, more wild, more primal said...."go! form the mud! Find the shape making haven that is pottery. Learn about form.... Learn about colour....... Ignore the thistles!
Peacekeeping inner voice offered....."You could just burn the thistle heads each time you fire the kiln!"
Both wild and responsible inner voices shreeked with joy! "Let's build a woodfired kiln!!!!"
.... and so it was that we three were me again and I headed off to a pottery club with a bright shiney new bag of Primo Cream Stoneware 301.
When media washes us with image after image of nameless humans affected by cruel and distant problems I am often left grappling with the 'what can I do' question.
On Monday 18 May (Sorry Ava - this will be why I forgot to call you for your birthday) I watched the footage of families picking up the pieces in the Papakura Children's Cemetery. A strange act of vandalism Saturday night had systematically striped the personal mementos from the plots. The footage showed a woman crouched in the debris holding the pieces of a broken sculpture in her hands.
My heart hurt for this woman and my response was to replace that tiny sculpture for her.
Once decided I realised there would be more people who might like to make gifts too. I invited any students and friends able to visit to do so the next day. Two came that day and one more arrived in the afternoon. Another sculptor from Whanganui intends sending over a piece of work. He couldn't make it because the surgeons had been at one of his knees!
What I'm working on now is to finish one more piece and get them all waterproofed. I am making efforts to find a gentle ride for these little works to Auckland and a contact who can gift these to some of the families. I would love that woman who inspired me to have the first choice from the gifts. I’m wondering about police or victim support as they may have had contact with the families. Either way soon I will have to just trust that these works will somehow find their right places.
My own child, lost before he was born, does not have a resting place. Times were different then. Making these works has been a special reflective time. It helps some to do something for others.
My Sugru has arrived! Im so excited!
As it is kind of expensive and goes off once you get it in the air I am writing a list of creations and fixes to work through.
What is SUGRU?!?!?!?
Google it and have a look at their material on Youtube.
Air curing silicon that sticks to lots and lots of things!
I have started a history page! I now have to go in and give a comment to the first round of images. This has been great from the point of learning more about website editing. I would love to be building websites as part of my work!
It has also been really special to look back at my creative stuff. Years of arty photos to hunt through makes me very pleased that I am a data freak! I use tags in my files to help me find stuff. It kind of makes a map to the image you might want.
So if you are facing website shame or wanting some help setting up a system for your digital photos ask me for a no obligation quote.
I am often asked where did I start? In 2007 when enrolled with The Learning Connexion as a distance learner I was able to attend a week long retreat at Yebo Art Studio! It was wonderful!
TLC sent Tutor/Artist Perry Scott and some tools... Yebo had piles of stone ready for us! For me I had arrived in heaven!
Early experimenting indicated that some of us were inclined to angular work and some to curvy. We split into two groups and drew straws to allocate who would complete each piece.
By the end of the first afternoon I was still working the stone madly! Others, more accustomed to a relaxed art environment, had showered and were blissfully balancing their attention between wine and the tantalising needs of a cheese board. I finished my first Oamaru stone work that afternoon. The curvy king was done!
Me? ...... yes I was smitten.
I love the process of creating my website! I have had a four page site for the last 9 years and to be honest I did not realise how much 'muchier' I needed my web presence to be. I think fluffymilk.com will keep evolving for some time yet. Weebly means I can build to the real needs of the business instead of cramming the business down to a slight version so the web-builder and my budget can stay on the same page. Today I have added a whole lot of categories for my creative 'stuff' and I will begin to profile all products and items that are for sale (or at least that should be !)
In the sculpting shed I have been really busy. I have regular workshops and a Wednesday evening class.
Today my lovely friend Suzi Brown of Suzi Brown Glass introduced me to weebly. After several days work in Photoshop dreaming up a personal styled website that is going to cost me a bomb to execute I am cheerfully resigned to a more normal project having hung together the start of my new web presence in several hours.
I am going to push the start button and continue building. Keep on coming back for new and old stuff. Yay!