|starting with basic cylinders|
You probably already know this, but when I'm not writing (or, let's be honest, wasting time on the internet. . . ) I spend time at a wonderful local ceramics school and studio space both handbuilding and wheel-throwing clay into primarily functional objects.
It's become somewhat more than a hobby, though I don't see myself becoming a production potter. One of the things I've learned over the years is that it's important to have a plan for the clay. While it's fun just to play with a piece, if I don't have a sense of what that clay will be at the end, then what I'm left with is a mud pie.
When I'm not throwing on the wheel, I work with textured slabs of clay and create somewhat freeform tripod cups and mugs that I call 'dragonbellies.' In the photo above, you can see several small cylinders, along with one small shotglass sized cup in process. To the left is a large cylinder that I had intended to turn into a water pitcher.
Since the large cylinder was slower to dry than the small ones, I wasn't able to make what I wanted that day, so I wrapped up the clay in plastic, intending to return the next morning. Except that I got busy and days turned into a week, interspersed with a trip out of town.
When I got back to the studio, the cylinder was nearly leather hard - somewhat past the stage of being able to shape. So I decided to try to reclaim it by soaking the newspaper it was wrapped around and wrapping it up again. Several days later, the water had make the clay softer. Success!
I started working on forming the pitcher.
When I got to the spout, I realized the clay really wasn't soft enough after I had already cracked it. Which meant either a radical re-think, or time to recycle the clay.
|Adding a 'button' to the repaired/remodeled spout|
|oh, hello there!|
I'm not sure I would have liked the piece as much had my first idea worked. Certainly, I don't think I could have created this funky face had I set out to make a sculptural piece.
A happy accident.
This is something I try to leave space for in my writing as well. This is why as much as I like to organize and plan a story, I need to give it enough wiggle room to expand my initial (usually limited) ideas.
Creativity is a strange beast. Probably a lot stranger than my owl pitcher. But just as unexpected. And definitely as much fun.