While my blog title is “Sculpting a Life”, I don’t usually write about sculpting. I write more blogs about creating, inspiration and my life including food, decorating, kids and dogs. The reason is simple, slowly over the years I’ve moved from sculpting masks and mixed media pieces to making functional clay work.
Truly, it happened so slowly, I didn’t even notice. And that’s the real curious part about being an artist and the process of making and creating my work. I work on one piece, then another, and another, and each one, at that time is my only focus. I get so focused on each piece, I’m always surprised there are so many pieces on my studio shelves.
But here’s the really curious part. While I was busy throwing cups, bowls and vases up on a tall shelf, heads and bodies and weird structures were appearing.
Sculpting snuck in while I wasn’t looking.
A few years back, before I was making my lily vases, I made a slab-built body. I had some old heads sitting in my studio closet and I remember thinking this might work for one of them. It didn’t. So when it didn’t work, I put it on a tall shelf and forgot about it.
Last year, in the midst of my Party Animal explosion, a woman’s head appeared. I was playing around with a pinch pot technique which was new to me. I didn’t have any other idea about her at the time and, actually figured she’d blow up in the kiln. She didn’t. But I didn’t have a body for her, so again, I put her on another tall shelf and forgot about her.
This week, I decided the pinch pot head really deserved a body. So I got out my clay and went about making her a lovely, lacy body. I had all the right ideas, but it went completely wrong. I ended up with a structure I hated and was glad when it cracked overnight.
Remember when someone told you that failure was the road to success? Yeah, I never believed them either. But I do believe in magic. And here’s where magic happened: just as I was going to sleep I saw her body and it was already done. I’d made it years ago.
Up on that top shelf, sitting silently and patiently, the body had waited for her.
Now that’s magic.