Every four to six months I pack up my life and bits of my studio to relocate. It is just how I live. I am a poor nomad, poor as in pitiful– as in please pity the fool (aka me). I own a lot of things. For the last five years, three times a year I fain a traveller. I don’t pack light. I move with the kilns, wheel, pots, accordion, typewriter, record player, subsequent records and dog, not to mention the tent and books and cast iron frying pans that are my baggage. A settler on the move with no land to claim. The notion of land ownership is a myth to my generation and position. Here I give a sigh for the wood kiln of my dreams that will never have a place. The white whale.
Even for an Ishmael I’ve got a lot of stuff. Query kind sir, where may I find a larger sail boat?
The point is, well what is the point? The point is that I keep making more….stuff.
A fellow potter just the other day said, “I don’t know how you do it.” She meant how I always leave my studio behind. Pity the fool, indeed. My leaving severs any continuity in making but I know now that making is a cyclical thing anyways, with lulls and gaps inbetween bouts of heavy production. My cycles are just geographically and seasonly governed. My annual separation from a centralized studio keeps me hungry for making, though it is a making fragmented. Always, ALWAYS when I am leaving I make something perfect, something good, something that is a big slap in the face telling me not to go (see below). I MUST go. Later (in September), the quest to get to something good starts anew. Until then, I will be silently contemplating my ideas and sketching madly away the summer- all discoveries muddling up what I thought I knew so that I can re-learn it all again come Fall.
The real point to this post is that I promised myself a week ago that two weeks ago would be my last wet clay day. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept: The ceramic process begins with the molding of wet clay, but then in subsequent weeks (or in my case week!) an item must be decorated, refined, fired, glazed, re-fired, sanded, cleaned and photographed. It is a long arduous process of making and the later steps in it all are less romanticized and publicised than the first steps of molding wet clay. It is these final steps I rush and push and try, especially when I must move on- quite literally. A day must be set to stop any wet clay work. My friend Carly was just saying that the studio tech at her school has taken to smashing any newly made thing he finds- I respect this idea entirely. But I seldom heed this sage advise. I make with increasing vigour every day after my last wet clay day. My impending separation from wet clay a force driving me on and on and jeopardizing the following steps in process. For it is in the next step of slip decoration I truly play and experiment (Lines and dots! Ungulates. Lines and dots!).
A mere 10 days away I will leave my sweet small town, my life all boxed and labelled (Oh my, I hope) and pots all made (Oh my, I hope!). Good thing I am putting the final touches on these still very wet bowls and plan on throwing a few things tomorrow?!!!
Thus, I apologize to you and myself for my lack of quality posting. There is much to share and say but it will have to wait a bit. Still, keep checking the blog because with all the impending crazed busyness I may find myself needing to post. Often, when we do a lot it only makes it easier to do a lot more (and rambling seems more legit).
Here are the beauties I just finished decorating… to be very sketchily and very slowly fired tomorrow night:
P.S. How many days do you give yourself to finish off work? When is your last wet clay day?