Friday, March 10, 2017

Glazing and Hope.

My shelves are full and once again, I'm amazed. I never think I'm ever going to get any new work done, then magically work appears. Maybe it's the clay fairy at work while I sleep? The ghost of a frustrated artist? An angel? Seriously, it astounds me every time.

When I work, all I see is what's right in front of me.

The hand-built treasure jar that needs a knob or heart leaf. The thrown cups patiently waiting for handles with a twist. The plates and platters calling out for color. Sometimes I think I'll never get done. Other times I think I'll never have enough done. And yet, day by day, one by one, things get made and my shelves get too full for me to make anything new.
Time to finish what I started.

After bisque and more detail work, the last phase is glazing. I hate this process. Ok, that may seem a little harsh because I have gotten very efficient at it, finally. I, finally, have a glaze that works well with my under glazes and clay. I have a procedure that coats the pieces evenly. I set up, glaze, clean up all the mess and tools and floors and towels and brushes with confidence. But it's still not my happy place.

Is it beginnings vs endings? 

It could be. One is full of possibilities, wonder, enchantment. The other is over and out. With beginnings, I have no expectations. At the glaze stage, I have a finished piece and I want it to come out of the kiln finished and whole as I imagined it to be. 
Hope. Fear. And magic. 

Yes, there's fear that the piece will blow up or crack and the finish for that piece will be the trash. But it's also the knowledge that I have to let go. Letting go is also scary. I make each piece by hand but it's more than my hand that shapes the pieces. It's my heart and soul. And each piece carries my hope, too, that it will be good, solid, pleasing and whole.

And that is the magic of creation.


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