Saturday, February 10, 2007

SACRED SHARDS: Fresh Slabs & New Directions

I went to the pottery studio late yesterday afternoon. It was the first time I'd gone in many weeks, because I'd been sick.

It's amazing how doing something you love can be so energizing. I dragged myself over there yesterday, feeling tired, but knowing that I'd feel even more disappointed and frustrated if another day went by without working on my pottery. I ended up working there for nearly an hour and a half, wedging and rolling out 5, 1/4 inch thick slabs, (3 white, 2 red) working slowly and methodically, enjoying the stillness of the studio and the company of another woman who'd come there to glaze her pieces.

Rather than using cardboard scraps to transport the slabs as I usually do (see photo above), this time I took several small 14x15 inch squares of drywall I'd prepared by ceiling the edges with thin strips of duct tape (very bad to get plaster in clay--it explodes in the kiln). Each slab was transferred from the SlabMats onto a square of drywall then slid into a 16x16 inch square zipper bag purchase from the Uline catalog. I've used some regular drywall, some waterproof, to see which will work best.

When I got home, I was re-energized enough to work for about 3 hours before calling it a night. I sat at the kitchen table, near the woodstove, playing and stamping designs using my most recently fired hand-carved stamps. This morning I have 13 new pendants and 11 new Christmas ornaments ready to go over to the studio for bisque firing, all from just one slab of white clay. These are designs I've not tried before.

Usually, I work almost exclusively in red clay. I like the natural, earthy look is gives. By experimenting with the white clay this time, I began to look at my designs differently, to feel free to try new ideas. I'm hoping to shake myself loose from the things I've already done, to build in new directions.

The pieces that have been selling well, the button box pendants, are things I began to develop nearly 2 years ago. Of course, I'll still continue to make these. They have a story that continues to resonate for me. At the same time, I'm ready to find an artistic direction that reflects who I am in the here and now. I'm excited to discover what that will be.

©2007 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing

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