Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Art touches my life and I hope, yours.



 “I think if I could go back in time and give myself a message, 

it would be to reiterate 

that my value as an artist doesn’t come from how much I create.


I think that mindset is yoked to capitalism.


Being an artist is about how and why 

you touch people’s lives, 

even if it’s one person.


Even if that’s yourself, 

in the process of art making.”


Amanda Gorman’s wise and wonderful words strengthen my soul, heart and mind. Tears well up in my eyes as my head nods up and down. Yes. Yes. 


Making my art is my way to be in the world. It is the way I see, hear, touch and live. Making is not just an activity or talent or job. It is in my nature, my essential soul giving me breath and life and light.  


Firing     



Loading and unloading my kiln is not my favorite job. It takes many trips carrying a tray loaded with fragile work from my studio inside to my kiln outside. Then there’s the art of logistics and making the puzzle of fitting my work into the kiln. 


I only have so many shelves and so much space. This time, I had 48 pieces to fit into my kiln. Luckily most of them were horizontal pieces. That means I can put in more shelves vertically, giving me more space. 



I fire starting at night, with one ring only on low. The next morning I get up, go out to the freezing garage and turn up all the dials to low. For the rest of the day, I wait for the timer to tell me to go out and turn up the kiln again and again until the cone bends and it shuts itself off. 


The joy of unloading. 


A few days later, when everything has come to an even temperature inside and out, I open my kiln. Unloading is scary and wonderful. 



Many things can happen inside the fiery darkness. Pieces can crack, discolor or blow up. I’ve had all those things happen, so I never assume all will be well until I unload and examine each and every piece. 



This was a load of joyful pieces. New colors bloomed. Butterflies flew out brightly. Healing bowls came out strong, smooth and whole. 


Amanda Gorman is so wonderfully right. 

“Being an artist is about how and why 

you touch people’s lives, 

even if it’s one person.


Even if that’s yourself, 

in the process of art making.”




Making my art not only touches my heart and soul, it makes me feel whole.

So maybe, if my work can bloom, be bright, strong and whole, so can I.  

And maybe so can you.