When I look in, out and around me all I see is change. Whether it’s the leaves on the trees, the election, covid case counts or new restrictions, everyday brings new information and adjustments to my daily life.
I don’t know about you but it’s taken me a few weeks to get used to everything that’s happened around me. The election took its toll on me. I didn’t even realize I’d been holding my breath, worried that somehow things would go sideways. And let’s face it, it’s been a bumpy ride. I might now like it, but sometimes life is like that.
Deadlines and deliveries.
In the studio, I’ve had a lot to do. I admit I was surprised to be firing up my kiln twice in one week to meet a deadline. I usually get my work done well in advance. I’m a planner and a list maker which I realize doesn’t fit the artist stereotype.
But I’ve learned that clay has its own timeframe. Cooler, rainy weather means it takes longer to dry. I have to wait to paint the colors, bisque fire, add glaze and do the final firing. While I’d like to hurry the process and force the clay to dry faster, I’ve learned with porcelain, that leads to cracks, bubbles or blow ups. So I watch it, feel it and work with it knowing I’ll be glad I did.
This time, I was working with a new clay. I wasn’t really sure how long the drying cycle would take. I would’ve liked to wait a little longer to be sure, but I had a deadline. So I had to change my work routine and timing.
Time to learn.
In order to glaze the new dove clay ornaments, I had to come up with a way to hang them in my kiln without letting them touch each other or the kiln shelves. I ordered heat resistant wire and bent it to fold in and over my kiln posts so each ornament hung in a separate groove during the firing. I slid each ornament into the groove, turned on the kiln and crossed my fingers.
I opened the kiln the next day and let out a sigh. It all worked out. The ornaments were glazed on both sides, still hanging from the wires and now with a lovely pearl finish.
I let out a huge sigh of relief that day. And I realize sighs of relief have been flowing out of me for days now. I sighed after the first big storm hit and my new roof and skylights proved strong and safe. I sighed when the election results finally came in. Yes, I sighed when I opened my kiln to see dove ornaments fired and fine.
Throughout all of these changes surrounding me, I was hopeful, scared, doubtful and finally, relieved. Now, I hope these changes will bring peace and a change to come together, listen, learn and help each other.