Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Consumed by Clay: Passion or obsession?

Pots got trimmed and the wheel got cleaned before the dishes. Bowls were thrown before I showered. The cat had to bump my studio door to remind me it was her dinnertime. The dog barked at nothing to get my attention away from the wheel. Tea and coffee got cold and forgotten. Dinner was leftovers. Again.

Clay seems to be taking over my studio, my day and my life. I don’t know why. Is it passion or obsession?

I’m not a newbie to art or the art process. I’ve taken art classes for 4 decades or more. I’ve made a lot of art, paintings, pastels, collage, beadwork, fiber pieces, copper repousse’, mixed media sculptures and masks. But I have to say that I’ve always been able to leave them, sometimes for weeks at a time. I used to call this the ‘percolation’ process. I always thought that in order to have a good piece, I needed to leave it alone for a while. And the process has worked for me.

Not anymore.

I just can’t seem to do that with clay. I’m organized. I make lists and plans and schedules. Even when I plan, that today, I will get to that cleaning, errand, email, website…all of a sudden it’s 5 pm and I would, but you see, my hands are covered with clay.

My writing that was taking up most of my time last year, is moving at a snail’s pace. Even my beloved blog posts have gotten further and further apart. Because, well, I just have to get to that piece before it gets too dry. Or I just need to add this leaf or handle or texture. Really, I’ll just be a minute…then I’ll run that errand, get the mail, do the laundry. Honest. I’ll check my email, read my favorite blogs, post on Facebook.

And I will answer the phone. Honest.

I do really want to hear from you, but, well, there’s this bowl, cup, platter, vessel or face that just really needs a little water or maybe a little trimming… Maybe you should leave a message…

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