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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Best yet

I made a few more houses yesterday and these are definitely the best yet. As I have mentioned before, my path with pottery making has been a long hard road. It took me nearly a year to figure out how to wedge, several more to learn how to center, bowls? forget it, I am just now making nice bowls after ten years. When I finally figured out I could throw better with my wheel going in a different direction and figured out the opposite way of doing things from that of all the right handed folks that taught me, it all got better. Being left handed, I have had to do that all my life. A right handed person taught me how to knit and I had to just reverse everything. Same goes with softball, catching, throwing, snowboarding, etc.....
Anyway, there is a point to all of this. Yesterday as I sat making these houses, I had so many thoughts going through my head, thoughts that an artist would have while making a piece of art. Not thoughts of am I breathing, is this centered, are the walls to thin, can I make one more pull, I am going to rip this f'ing thing off the wheel and throw it at the wall, you know the normal wheel throwing thoughts.... or the other thoughts: are these going to sell, can I really sell these for $5, how many of these can I stand making anyway......
I was thinking of where these houses are coming from, memories from my past that they represent, thinking about all the oxide washes and surface treatments I could use. And at that moment I finally felt like an artist, not struggling with my materials, but using them to express something inside me that I wanted to represent with clay. It felt really good! I used to have those feelings a lot as a child. I did some sort of art all the time. I painted, I constructed, I collaged anything that would be still, it just all had to get out somehow. I have been so busy learning this craft of clay that I forgot how it felt to just create because you had to. There is not enough time in the day to do all that I want to do with these houses, so I hope that my attention span will hang in there for just a bit longer so I can see where I can take this. I do miss my wheel and need to make some bowls, because I sold out, but I am preoccupied at the moment with structures so the bowls are going to have to wait!
The Farmer's Market sucked last night. It was hot, and only the ice cream was selling. None of the craft people sold anything, I made a big 'ol $5. Oh well, the past two weeks were fantastic so it comes it goes. I did see lots of friends and fellow potters, had some Maple View ice cream and my family was with me, so no loss. I have some new things from the kiln that I was going to save for the market but I think I may take them by the NC Craft Gallery and see what she would like first. I haven't taken her anything since the holidays and she may have forgotten who I am:)
I am planning on working all week with no interruptions, keep your fingers crossed for me!

10 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Your new houses look great, how tall are they? What time was the market? I think the heat puts a damper on everything. good luck making during the week. Gary is a leftie and back then the teacher would smack everyones hand fi they used the left one, so now he is almost ambidextrious, but still has trouble with certain things.

Tracey Broome said...

Linda, the houses are 10" and 6" sort of small but more manageable that way. The market runs from 5-8pm but it was really hot yesterday and people were dragging about, plus there wasn't as big a crowd as usual.
In school I was lucky that my teachers really helped me a lot with my writing, thanks to a mom that was at school a lot paying attention to what was going on.

FuturePrimitive said...

a lovely post tracey. i love those moments when you're doing your thing and focus comes from the deep recesses of your brain. it's when your best pieces come to the fore i think. it's when you make pieces that you're proud of yourself!
good for you. the houses are really lovely.

Judy Shreve said...

The houses look great. I really enjoyed this post & can certainly relate. The clay learning curve is so huge -- and I think it's mostly because there are so many directions to go in. But focussing & limiting your materials - gives a certain amount of freedom. Maybe that's why so many artists work in series.

cookingwithgas said...

Follow this path- those houses are great- I am amazed at teachers who do not let a Lefty work as a lefty.
I watched a person struggling with trimming and finally asked if she was left handed - she said yes and i said reverse your wheel she had been told that the day teacher could not teach her if she did this.
I said do it anyway- she did and never looked back!
I really hope to see these houses in person!
Happy Sunday!

Amy said...

Your post got me to thinking about when I believed I was an artist... Thanks for your words. What determination you have.
Good luck in the studio this week!

Laura said...

you're rockin it gal!

cindy shake said...

I hear ya' sister!! I can't believe how steep my learning curve has been with clay -geeze! I'd like to think I'm a fast learner -but working in clay tosses that theory out the window -ha! Clay FORCES me to appreciate the PROCESS and have PATIENCE. arrrgh. Your houses are just FAB and Raku seems sooo perfect for them.

Hollis Engley said...

Keep building the houses, Tracey. I think they'll take you a long way. There are plenty of bowls out there (you make good ones, anyway) and you can go back to it any time you want. But I'd follow the thread of these buildings. You'd love the mountains of Vermont and the old houses and barns there.

jimgottuso said...

the houses are lovely! i know that feeling of having the wheel call to me but you have to stay with something while you're hot.