Sunday, September 19, 2010

Clay

I spent the (ENTIRE) weekend purging my accumulations from what is supposed to be my studio. A good portion of books and miscellanea are packed for donating. I've promised my ceramics supplies and any other art giveaways to my dear friend Phoenix, as well as my (never hooked up, never fired) kiln and a bunch of stoneware that's been sitting in the room for five years.

It's all piled up, and I am anxious to get it out of my space. I was so thrilled with the delicious purge, I got my carving tools and sponges packed up, too. And then I immediately burst into huge, soul-wracking sobs.

Shane opened up his arms and held a messy, freaked out me, and talked me down. He told me if it was important, we'd keep it all. We talked through it and I decided that the kiln and clay can go- need to go, but my tools stay. A clay supply and studio opened up very close to us, and it makes much more sense to rent studio/kiln space than to try to make space to sculpt at home. I'm at peace with this resolution- I know because it made me stop crying- and packed my tools away for safekeeping.

I really didn't realize how much the idea of really retiring as a sculptor would affect me. It's really my medium, though. Building and smoothing and carving clay is the most right I've ever felt in my world- tied with nursing the baby. They speak to the same place in my- a deep, centered, physical primal part that nothing else has ever tapped. The contrast in my critiques in printmaking and ceramics is marked. Drawing is home, and my sketchbooks are a fixture always. But I think clay is my temple.

The image above is from a juried student show. Jamie Miller (now a beloved sistermamafriend) and I won best in show. It's my best piece and now lives with an aunt who bought it. I'm looking now at a later related version- it's wonky and I'm giving it away so I can stop rebuilding it in my head.

I'm happy I've had this little breakdown. I need to get my hands in some squishy sacred mud soon.

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