Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good studio days are like good chocolate.

I savor them. Words flow. Clay rolls smoothly and evenly. Copper heats up to just the right colors. A face begins to emerge from the screening. Silence. Serenity. Life is good.

Today, was not like that at all. The clay seemed to dry up, lump up and refuse to roll. As I sit to write this, I delete more than I keep, typos abound. It’s still silent but serenity is gone replaced by a freight train of frustrated thoughts.
So, as I sigh and try harder, I wonder what I am doing wrong. Why is today not flowing smoothly?

I started my day running necessary errands. I came back to a crying puppy that needed out, a cuddle and lunch. I made myself sit and have a cup of tea trying to get that studio mood back. The phone rang. A good friend and a good conversation were wonderful. I got out the clay, but the phone rang again, another good chat.

In the studio, the clay coils kept breaking. My piece cracked in more than one spot. It was tempting to fling it all in and call it a bad studio day and go eat chocolate. But I’m stubborn, if not dedicated. So, I kept rolling and breaking clay but after a while something happened. The clay started rolling smoothly, the coils stuck snugly and the cracks knit back together.

I’d like to say that I can now share with you the secret to turning a bad studio day into a semi-good one, but I really don’t know what happened. Maybe it was sticking it out. Maybe it was closing my eyes and just rolling the clay. Maybe it was just giving up on getting another good studio day and accepting that today was going to be semi-sweet.

And I don’t know about you, but I love semi-sweet chocolate. Maybe I need to learn to love semi-sweet studio days, too. (Oh, I’ve been deleting about three possible endings, here, so there’s the bitter and the sweet.) I had 3 good studio days this week and, so far, just one semi-sweet. 3 to 1, not bad at all.

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