Friday, August 27, 2010

Be Brave

Art making requires a certain amount of bravery. I feel to truly create art, an artist pushes their medium of choice. I was reflecting on Katie’s color bravery and how brave an artist needs to be to put their art out in the public eye for all to see (and critique) and for me, hopefully sell. When I started Blogging I was taken by how many potters share their firing schedules, or glaze recipes and bravely share their wins and losses. I also noticed how brave Linda Starr was in her clay work. Linda was trying different clays, finishes, textures and even barrel firings, publishing the good with the bad, publishing the truth. When I worked in clay I found I wasn’t brave enough to attempt new things. I wanted a “win” with every firing, a “sure thing.” I seemed to always have silly rules to what I could make and what I couldn’t make. That’s not true art making or pushing clay beyond the expected.

I’ve said before that I feel Clay is a fickle friend, even though when I work in the medium of clay I feel closer to the earth and art making. Unfortunately, what has restrained me is there seems to be no “sure-fire” –pun intended, guarantees to the making, glazing and firing cycles. For me that’s been the beauty of it and the angst of the medium of clay. Clay has taught me that patience pays off and also that potters are some of the most information sharing Bloggers I read. I’ve also confirmed that artists who choose to work in clay are some of the most underpaid. Working in clay is usually never about money –except how much supplies can cost, or how crazy shipping costs are to Alaska! Working in clay seems to be a passion to those who dedicate their art making to living the “potter’s life.” Opening the kiln after a firing (and forcing myself to wait until a proper cooling temp was reached) always seemed like Christmas morning and the added bonus was opening a kiln after a glaze firing and seeing the glazes sparkle like jewels in a cave. I even love seeing other potter’s kiln peek shots on Blog posts, I become giddy wanting to hold those warm pieces in my hands. While I may have the desire for clay, what’s been missing is the bravery. It’s been a difficult decision, but it’s time for me to move on from working in clay, give it a rest until I am able to more freely experiment, lift my self-imposed rules and be CLAY BRAVE.

My last firing included a large sculptural Raven, one of my fish heads and a mask -and it was SUCCESSFUL!


Linda Starr said...

I may have been brave up to now, but it might not be bravery but foolishness. Necessity must now drive me to start selling my work, concentrating on making as many successful pieces as I can, which will mean making some of the same work in different glazes or slip decoration. I also must spend time behind the scenes ming a portfolio, approaching shops to hopefully carry my work, entering shows, working on my booth set up, so I can start selling work. So I plan to look back on my previous work and concentrate on making the more successful pieces in order to recoup some of my costs.

I also think if I wasn't so experimental and worked to perfect only one clay and a few pieces I might be further ahead right now. But I can't go back only forward so that's what I am doing. I am hoping all my experiments will somehow pay off in my future work.

Anyone who can don a welding suit, cutting torch, plasma cutter and make the beautiful work you do is so much braver than I am and that you are Cindy. And I think you are working smarter which in the long run is what is necessary to be a succesful artist in today's world. Concentrating on what you are good at and letting the tangents fall by the wayside.

ang said...

yep its def not a process for the weak of heart or the weak knee'd....:P cheers