The weeks are already starting to fly by. Sometimes I let myself sleep in and arrive at the studio around 9am. Often, though, I will look up to find it is 11pm and I have to leave the studio in a disastrous state until the next day. Parts of my processes are very organized and other parts are complete pandemonium. In the same way that I love both the country and the city, I am learning to love both the order and the chaos of my studio practice. Talking about duality is bringing me to the topic of this work I’m making. It’s about processing-both materials and feelings. The clay is in a constant state of processing. At any given time, on any given shelf or table, clay can be found in liquid, thick impasto slip, soft and knead-able to barely wet, leather hard, dry, calcined/bisque and vitrified. (I haven’t even gotten to the glazes yet). The clay batch is mixed, used, reprocessed and reused until it is gone. Each stage of dryness has its own unique characteristics and I find there is a shared language between the processing of the art materials and the emotional processing that is always at the heart of my work.

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Chaos

 

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Order: small, labelled samples of the cross country clay bodies which have been sifted and pulverized. These samples will be calcined (heated to a point where all moisture is removed). The process will change the color (think raw umber/burnt umber). The raw and burnt samples will be used to make a set of colored pastels.

I’m working on one piece, which I hope will live-though I am pushing some limits of the clay (that’s good, right?) The piece is about my very real struggle to learn to throw on a wheel. It is also about struggle to grow and change, to change one’s muscle memory and to be better. The piece is about the many eggs that must be broken in order to change. As I practice on the wheel, I am stacking some of the worst pots together as a sculpture. As I improve, the top of the heap is getting better. I’m actually starting to forfeit pretty decent pots so that I can complete the sculpture. It’s not good to let things become too precious. I can’t show a picture of this sculpture yet. I’m afraid that photographing it might steal it’s soul…or that the fake shutter sound on my camera might cause it to avalanche.

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