Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pondering pinch pots

 "The artist is to sing up the earth"*
A new year, new ideas, a blank slate.
Tomorrow I start teaching at Holyoke Community College. I am thankful for this opportunity for a number of different reasons. Teaching clay infuses my life with creative energy that comes from giving and learning from others. I have loved the time that I have to work alone in the studio these past few years, but am interested to see what lessons this new challenge brings to my work. As I research ideas for projects, looking at historical and contemporary ceramics, I am finding new and older inspiration to share with my students, write about in my blog, and feed into new ideas and techniques in the studio.
*Paulus Berensohn
Sitting in the sun with cats, books, and computer, thinking about pinch pot projects to teach at HCC, I started looking at Paulus Berensohn. Paulus Berensohn is clay artist and writer whose words often speak to the nurturing, spiritual, and poetic aspects of creating. I stumbled on to this interview from YouTube by  Paulus called Why we create.
*" It isn't to make a career. It isn't to be famous. It's to sing up the earth." I think that we can and have to consider the financial logistics of making a living as an artist. It is impossible not to. What strikes me when I hear Paulus Berensohn's words is continually to remember that beautiful awkward fleshy feeling that we all had when we fell in love with clay for the first time. I guess this can relate to all aspects of our lives.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The beginning of a textile adventure

After the big push to make work for shows for the holidays I find myself a bit sluggish in the studio. It doesn't help that it's dark and cold out. One thing I have found important is to remember to reload creatively. This might mean not being in the studio for a few days, and give time to reflect and tap into sources of inspiration. I started this with a trip to a second hand store to look at textiles. A little shopping can't hurt either. Here is some of what I found.

Big bold polka dots

I like going to thrift stores to look at textiles, because you can touch, and  try things on. A very different experience of seeing how a pattern stretches over the contours of the body. And like pots the clothes are there to be used, making the feel of the cloth as integral to its function as the look of it.