...imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown [Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream]
A blog of discovering clay. A chance to explore the philosophy and practicalities of twenty-first century pots. A collection of leads for my students and myself.
I’m working on my new artist statement for a gallery show in August. I’d welcome input on this. It’s not so hard for me to write about the creative process in general. It’s more challenging to actually address exactly what it is I do. Please let me know your thoughts!
In large part my approach involves inviting in imperfections. I have a high standard of craftsmanship and functionality that could be readily met if I first ironed out imperfections and then mass-produced the resulting design.
Instead I seek the spark of animation that comes from the loose gestural surface, the surprising juxtaposition of volumes, the pervasive evidence of the hand coaxing the clay. I follow my curiosity instead of my know-how.
Each new form must fill its lungs and look up at you. Then I ask it to pass muster as a working object: it balances in the hand. It doesn’t drip. It pours like a dream. It will stand up well to domestic life.
I lack the virtuosity to make my materials effortlessly jump through hoops. Instead I go looking for groundedness in my work by stubbornly incorporating improvisation in the process. A high loss rate comes with this dual approach of craftsmanship and imperfection.
The divine lives next to the profane, not in the greys elsewhere; the universal lies next to the personal. In my work I seek a world where the most mundane objects breathe life, where originality is what we have in common.
“Aestivation or æstivation (from Latin aestas, summer, but also spelled “estivation” in American English) is a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions. It takes place during times of heat and dryness, the hot dry season, which are often the summer months.”
Dear divers - this blog is inspired both by my love of clay and my students’ enthusiasms and interests. Now we’re between sessions and the time has come to lay low. The occasional post may come through over the next few months, and then we’ll be back to the usual hum come September.
I’ll tide you over with this detail of the sun’s surface.
Last minute call to Nashville ceramic students and aficionados: we’ll walk through the Art of the Ancient Americas exhibit at the Frist tonight (May 9). Meet us in the hall outside the exhibit on the second floor at 6. Bring your school photo ID and get in free. And bring a sketch pad - the Frist doesn’t allow cameras!