I shipped my clay piece to North Carolina yesterday for the Clay & Blogs Show. As I was boxing and bubble wrapping, at the last minute I swapped out what I was going to send for the piece pictured above. The wall tile is one of my most favorite pieces that I was saving for myself. The sgraffito illustration shows how my heart feels about working in clay. This was a bittersweet moment. A couple of years ago at this time, I had high hopes of working more in the medium of clay to compliment my metal work. I purchased a couple of kilns, electronic kiln controller, had my electrician accommodate the additional power needed, loaded up on tools and materials, got a new slab roller, saturated myself with wonderful ceramic books and regularly had my hands “in the mud.” I loyally followed several clay blogs and learned more from these clay artists and potters who Blog than from all of my books combined. However, recently I made the difficult decision to move on from spending a lot of time with clay and started downsizing the amount of space dedicated to clay in the studio and "gifted" my clay related materials and tools. The most difficult part is that the majority of artist Blogs I follow and enjoy are clay Blogs. I feel like a deserter. I’m normally not one to not finish something I started and to not be focusing on clay makes me feel like a quitter. But the truth is I found working in clay too unpredictable. I also discovered I don’t have the “patience” (a key word for working in clay!) or the stomach for failures. The process of firing, glazing and firing, to me, was a real science that needed a lot of practice and experimentation –technical ability helps a lot too. I was so looking forward to attending the Clay & Blogs Show in North Carolina that I even applied for a grant to travel to NC and further my exploration in clay. I know I could have been easily inspired by all of the talent in the “pottery capitol of the world” though it was not meant to be. The grant or the trip. So yesterday, as I shipped my piece to the Show it was actually a bit sad as the well-packed box tumbled into the gaping metal mouth of the USPS receptacle, a bit of literal closure if you will. My solace is that the wall tile and therefore a small bit of me will be among those great potters at the Campbell House Gallery in Southern Pines, North Carolina October 1.
The show is the brainchild of Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, NC. It's called "Clay and Blogs: Telling aStory" and brings together 50 potters from throughout the U.S., England and Australia. Click here for a link to Meredith's Blog with a complete list of those participating and links to their Blogs. In addition to the Show at the Campbell House Gallery, there is an Online Exhibition. If you're like me and can't make it to North Carolina, you can take a virtual tour of the on-line portion of the Show.