July 20, 2009
I am putting a tea set in an instructor's show at the City Arts Centre. They asked me to include an artist’s statement. I have always had trouble with those. I never have been comfortable with long and flowery explanations of how and why I created a piece. I never wanted to say anything like how the elements of nature combined with the elements of the spirit in a single work, represents them both, the artist or whatever. Maybe the work does represent some of that, but not on a conscious level for me. I make pots because I am a potter. I alter them, add to them, give them faces and make them one of a kind pieces because I want to or I have to, and for me, I’m not sure there is a difference. I started playing in the clay before I started going to elementary school. I have had many changes in my life since I was that little girl playing in the mud in my backyard. The one thing that has remained constant for all those years is me playing in the mud. I am not sure that makes me an artist. I have become fairly proficient at throwing pots. I am happy for the most part with what I make and when I take the time to do something more creative than production pottery; I really enjoy how it makes me feel. It makes me feel like me.
Here is the tea set. “Tea on the Run”.
I was thinking that I would rather put a face that I have been working on in the instructor’s show.The masks or faces combine sculpting, slab work and the wheel. They are the most recent and then therefore my best work, but not as good as I am going to do tomorrow. But I don’t want to put a mask in because we are doing the Folk Fest in a few weeks and I think I have a better chance of selling the mask than the tea set. Spoken like many artists, I need the money. I won’t add that to my artist statement. It seems that once you have to make a living at selling this schtuff, the art community will not see you as an artist.
Speaking of selling this schtuff, I have to get to work. I have been making mugs and small pieces for Folk Fest. I was pushing and put a bunch of mugs in the kiln, way too wet. But since I have been potting forever I know how to push… Yeah right. Of all the things that you would think I have learned over the decades of making pots, is that you can’t rush some things. I lost 18 mugs because I thought I could break the rules. Sometimes you get caught. Today is going to be muggy…..
Until next time.
The Clay Teacher