Sunday, March 1, 2009

What keeps me endlessly inspired to work in clay?

Finding my way toward a “good” pot is like a lifetime of working on leveling a three legged table by incrementally sawing one leg at a time. Without measuring. And the curious thing? …turns out that the goal isn’t really a “level” table after all – just a table with a pleasing cant.

The three legs:
1. Manipulation – a lifetime of learning to
control the medium. The tactile pleasure. The “something out of nothing”
sense of accomplishment. The sense of going too far (being “too” in control –
man as machine) or backing off and allowing for the materials to express

2. Materials – Being mindful of the
inherent qualities of clay and having the joy of sometimes letting those
qualities express themselves – and sometimes having fun with playfully
disguising those qualities.

3. Communication – whether
it’s as “crass” as determining whether there is a market for a pot – or a more
lofty communication of elements of the human condition. I’m always trying to
figure out what to “say” and how to “say” it.
The old saying goes: “You can never step twice into the same river”. “Art”, and the world with which it is communicating, is that proverbial river. The same pot being introduced at a different time communicates different things.

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