Thursday, January 21, 2016

As The Wheel Turns: Throwing and Stopping.

I threw this week.  I didn't really know what to expect.  With all the holiday happenings and baking and decorating and shopping and guests, I didn't have time to throw.  In fact, I didn't have time to work in the studio at all for over a month.

Enter guilt and fear.  

These two emotions usually mean fun and desire exit the building.  But after my curious week, I found that desire was, indeed, there.  It just needed me to be curious enough to sit down and find it.  Last week, luckily I did find my way back to play. Painting with watercolors brought the fun and desire back into my soul and gave me a new way to look at my clay.  

Throwing is not my comfort zone, yet.  

I still feel flutters when I get ready to throw.  I worry.  I have all my past mistakes creep up and bite away at my desire.  Again, that word, desire.  Such a very important word for me and one I've never used or thought about much.  But not only does desire help chase away fear and guilt, it ignites curiosity.  What will my clay feel like today?  Will it be too cold or hard?  What do I want to make?
Curious, I listened to the clay and let my hands follow.

In deciding, not to decide, I felt a calm settle inside me.  Curiosity led to a desire to play and feel which led to following the clay as it spun into a vase and bowls.  That calmness, that settled attitude, led to going a little further than my comfort zone.  Pulling the bowl bigger, the lip a little wider, and the vase a little fatter.  

It also led me to stop.  

In the past, I've always questioned whether or not to stop.  Or pull higher.  Or push wider.  And when I do stop, I still question myself.  Could I have pulled it bigger or trimmed it better.  I've never been totally comfortable and confident with my decisions.  And so, I find myself ruining beautiful bowls by pushing and creating heavy vases by not trimming deep enough.  But this week, I stopped when it just felt right to stop.  

Bottom line: I liked what I made.  

I also filled my kiln with some pieces that had already been bisqued.  I'd under glazed these pieces at the green ware stage, but wanted to add some depth of color and a black stain.  I've never re-fired my pieces this way before, so I wasn't sure how they would turn out.  Would the initial color fade or get brighter?  Would the black over power the color or add depth?  I opened up the kiln and found more blending of colors without any fading.  And the black added just the definition I was looking for!

This week's findings:  Time away from the wheel doesn't hurt my ability to throw.  Creating from a deep desire to connect with the clay chased fear and guilt away.  Adding more colors gave the piece more depth. And stopping is a good thing!

No comments: