It sure has been nice to get back into the swing of things with clay & all. I don't know if I mentioned this, but in college the only thing I could throw was a lump of clay across the room. Nothing every came out on the wheel. I'd get frustrated as hell trying to get the clay to even center! So I stuck with handbuilding pieces. Fast forward to now, and I surprise myself everyday with my ability to center the clay. I am far from where I want to be, but boy am I getting there.
In my first class at the community center, our instructor had us introduce ourselves & state a goal for the class. I told her that my goal was to center the clay & actually make a cylinder since I never succeeded in college. do you know what I did in that class? I learned to center the clay & to pull up a wall (thick as the wall of China, might I add) to make a cylinder. All my stuff came out like crap. Really, I am not making it up. The only thing that came out sorta alright was this thing in the bottom of the stack here:
It's like a conical, cylinder shaped object. It wasn't something I intended it to be, it was something that just turned out. Creating art is about intention. (I thought of a wonderful little saying a few days ago but now for the life of me I can't remember it!) Sometimes creating art is accidental, but then the choice is to continue intentionally creating it in that way. Like many things, art has structure. There are things that are good & things that are bad. In addition to this, I believe art is anything you can get away with. Which is not contradictory: having an artistic style or aesthetic is different from throwing paint on a canvas a few times & calling it art. Art has Intention. I can not stress this enough!
In the second class, the class that wrapped up in March, my goal was cylinders with purpose. I wanted to specifically make tumblers. I found some a while ago on Anthropologie I believe & thought they were super cool. So I set off to make something that was a cylinder but with a sort of shape to it. I succeeded in making a few of these tumblers:
Once I got a few of these made, I decided to make a bowl one night. Once I realized how awesome it looked, I set out to make more! I achieved a goal: cylinders with purpose or tumblers & set a new one: Bowls! I got a lot of bowls done & tend to make them in the same sort of shape. Yay for consistency, right?
So then I glazed a few in some different combos & found I really like the clear glaze over the entire pot & then either Shino or Blue Rutile (which we aren't using any more!) as an accent. I think I've settled on the Clear/Shino combo. I love the simplicity! My whole big deal with clay is that it's dirt. I don't want to hide the fact that is is. Which is why I like dark colored clay like terra cotta & this speckled clay. It looks like what it is. I don't want to hide the fact that its basically mud. I don't work with porcelain or white stoneware...I just don't. I think the earthy clay reflect me more.
So my signature combo now is going to be Clear & Shino. I've been told that I should create things in more colors, that other people will like it & will buy it that way. Well, right now I'm not making for other people. I am making for me, for my artistic advance. I want cohesiveness & shit I am going to get it!
If you can't tell, I take creating rather seriously. I am also very selfish as an artist. I am not sure if that's something you are supposed to be, but I am not creating things for other people. I am creating them for me, so that I can grow as an artist. I don't care if I should do it in blue or green or polka dot...it's not for you, it's for my own self discovery. I create things I like in the hopes that others will like them too. Shared experiences & all. Peep the artist statement for that.
My next class has started & my new goal is to play with shape & scale. I want to see how all my pieces interact. The shape I tend to is sort of contact lens shaped: sort of conical but wide. I want to make tumblers & bowls that play with the same shapes but different scales. My inspiration were these two tumblers. All will be glazed in the clear/shino combo.
I realized in the first class of this session that I am not making up my desire to make things. I sat back down at that wheel & got some practice in (all my stuff was crap), but I discovered that I went to school for something & it's followed me. I am striving for something, some sort of end goal...free from the pressures of projects like I had in school. I am striving to making something for me.
Do you have a dream you are going after? How about any goals you've reached then readjusted?