Last night was my first evening in an 8 week ceramics and pottery class which M. gave me for my birthday. I've never really had a drive to do ceramics. I keep myself neck deep in projects that need finished without the necessity of three days cooking in extreme temperatures (thank you very much). Needless to say as people moved into the ceramics room and were chatting like old friends and began to raid cupboards and pull out almost finished pieces I began to have a creeping sense of how wrong this class could be for me. And I wished for a sinking hole in the earth to swallow me and save me the embarrassment of admitting my ignorance. HOWEVER…
Oh my giddy wonderful racing heart!! I LOVE it!
I was encouraged to start with moulding but. . . err. . . being a bit hard headed and not having been at all interested in doing moulded clay I said with total ignorance of the processes, limitations, and qualities of clay "No I want to either throw or do sculptural stuff." So I was sat down with a piece of paper and pencil which is no hardship as sketching is my favourite diversion.
What came out was a regurgitation of something that I have been sketching on the borders of notebooks and corners of sticky pads for at least 16 years. This (above) is the earliest sketch I have of it which is from 2002 but it has been bouncing around my head for much longer. Then I sat with clay and just did what I had in my head. And it was so peaceful and soul centring, like a meditation on form and touch. I sense that I could have closed my eyes and felt what the clay wanted me to do with it. I learned a few things about the process and how to make sure my piece doesn't crack in the kiln or take four years to dry for that matter.
I cannot wait till next week. I have a coral reef in my head and hands which is burning to escape and become tangible!
As a BIG aside I am about to go onto ETSY and see if my makes are as nice to anyone other than me. . . eeeek! This embroidered broach (modelled by my obliging but terribly embarrassed 12 year old) is one of the few things I have to sell. It is slightly larger than life size and a Peacock butterfly which is very common in our area of England. It will be on sale in a day or two. Wish me luck!