Finally had a CLAY DAY –yaaay! Which will turn into a clay week, which will evolve into rotating my clay medium back into my artmaking production schedule. Though I admit it was tough to get rollin’ because it’s been awhile since the studio has seen any water and mud action. I'm down to the last two bags of some Tile White, a ^06-1 clay. I wanted to use it up before the new shipment of higher fire clays arrive. I was out of sync remembering where all of my favorite tools are and had to re-acquaint myself with the clay shelves. I picked up these sweet “clay tool” finds for $3, a glass tray and vintage rolling pin at my favorite Thrift store, Bishop’s Attic, which I think helped shift me into 4WDrive. When I saw these gems I immediately thought of the making marks on clay. The glass tray actually has the coolest circular pattern on the bottom which was perfect for mark making on a tray or trivet. The circles reminded me of my friend Katie Sevigny’s work.
It was a bumpy start to my clay day even with the Thrift store treasures waiting to make their marks. I needed to prime my “clay brain” so I broke out a couple of my favorite clay books and thumbed through them -before my fingers were muddy.
Fortunately, I have a wonderful library of highly visual art books –a must-have for those days I’m a little lite on inspiration. It really only took about ten minutes of looking at the incredible images in “The Penland Book of Ceramics” and my head was clear of all the other "mommy, wifey, welder, puppy care-taker, bills payer, laundry doer, inventory taker, accounting" stuff that has accumulated in my brain and I was OFF! The “Handbuilt Ceramics” book put it best in chapter eight on “Inspiration,” that it’s important to grant yourself some “play” time which can be very difficult when we’re self-employed commercial artists. I tend to put a lot of expectations on every day I’m in the shop or studio. I try and make each piece of art “count” either financially or try and ensure that the outcome is successful. This is a dangerous path for artists to walk –I know, I’m in therapy for it. No, just kidding, I’m not in therapy but probably should at least be doing some sort of palates-yoga
moves to tone down my screaming, entrepreneurial, artmaking brain. I admit (though a bit embarrassing) when I was rolling out the slabs for some mark making, I was actually thinking about how much clay to use, what size, what the finish would be, the turnaround
time, could I make multiples if I had a good design and how much these new pieces would sell for! Geeze, let it go Shake, have some PLAY time for goodness sake! So in the name of play, I don’t know how any of the pieces are going to be glazed, though one of the large slab rolled trays is screaming for some Raven sgraffito work -which my customers HAVE been asking about…