Saturday, June 28, 2014

working out the time line

 Working off is giving me a new and very different perspective in the studio.

 Over the years we have developed our own habits of how we handle clay. I think if you stick with this clay stuff long enough you find out just how far you can push this stuff. You figure out that it is just clay, the best and most reclaimable art form in the early stage you can find.
If you make something and then stop and think about it, you can choose to toss it back with ease. In a matter of minutes, when tossed in a bucket of slip, it will start to reabsorb into the rest of the bucket. Later, you can reclaim and start new.

Once you decide to fire the clay you are committed.

I am watching the students make these decisions daily. I ask them not to toss back the pots they have made too quickly. Live with them for the day or live with them for a week I tell them. You need to see how far you have come after a few hours or a few days.  
Live with it and then you can toss them back.
I love seeing the deciding and the decision making process. You need to find yourself in a place where everything off the wheel is not too precious. Finding your way of separating yourself from the made object gives you time to really look at it.
Don't spend your time thinking, but it took me so long, I worked so hard, my mother loves it, you know the drill. Think about what is is and really evaluate it's worth. Will you be happy that you kept it a week, month, year from now?

I hear all the time, I can save it. From what? I can use it for a test? Why?

Learning any skill takes time and an ability to know you will get better at what you do.
I am enjoying the teaching.
And, I am finding a new way to work out my own demons as Mark and I figure out the working separately thing.
It is an interesting summer full of new challenges.


Alex Solla said...

There are so many levels to clay... and this piece about sitting with the work you make... not reacting immediately to it by throwing it out or deciding to save it... those are huge parts of the process. I know that some aspect of it is grief and loss and some of it is that immediate gratification piece. Such a complex issue. I love hearing your thoughts as you ruminate on this.

cookingwithgas said...

Thanks Alex, it is a bid step letting go, as we both well know.

cookingwithgas said...

It is a big step...edit!

Dennis Allen said...

Letting go is an important lesson. Usually you spend more time trying to save a pot that will never be right than it takes to make another.I would never let go of the one in your pictures today.

Linda Starr said...

wish I had had a teacher like you when I took pottery classes at the college back in California. hadn't thought about that till reading your post today

Tracey Broome said...

The hardest thing for me to ever get through to people that took my beginner classes was the letting go. Get it off the wheel already! I took a hammer to a bunch of stuff the other day. I am now on the other side of the letting go, where I smash almost everything, haha!
It has been a challenging summer for many of us, I think. I was telling Wesley today, this has been the first summer in my entire life that I have not put on a bathing suit and gone swimming. I love the water, but the water is having to wait this one out..... sigh.

DirtKicker Pottery said...

I've gotten pretty good at throwing wishful thinking into the recycle bucket.

Extending the thought. I know a lot of clay artists destroy their glazed seconds. They don't want imperfect pots with their name out in the world. I don't really worry about that. I sell my functional seconds cheap and donate the proceeds to a local holiday program for deaf and hard of hearing children. I feel less crappy about seconds knowing they have a purpose. Plus.. There are many people out there who love pottery and can't afford firsts ;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

What you say is TRUE, but when I have taught I have also thought that a lumpy student pot remains a learning experience later: you need to practice glazing and decorating too, just as challenging to practice as throwing :)