Monday, January 29, 2007

patience...

It is said that patience is a virtue. And ooohhhh I wish I had some! I am so incredibly impatient, which in my line of work really isn’t a good trait!! Edgar (our unofficial studio assistant) is always rousing on me…be patient girrrrrl!! he says in his lovely thick spanish accent, as I don my gloves and pull hot pieces out of the kiln far earlier than I should…as I prod and poke pieces out of the moulds before they are really ready….as I pace up and down waiting for the kiln to reach temperature…. as I fall over my own feet trying to do 5 different things at once! It’s partly because I just get so damn excited about it all - I just want to see it!!! I want to see the finished piece!! I want to see if it worked, if my idea will actually manifest itself the way I hoped. I want to see them all lined up on my shelves in neat little rows! I want to see them packed in boxes and sent off so I can cross them off my list and have a damn holiday!!

But it also means I break things, drop things, crack things, damage my kiln and get myself into occasional spots of trouble with deadlines that usually means MORE work not less!! Even when I know what I am doing might result in disaster, I still do it…it’ll be ok, I tell myself…it’s not really that bad to pull an eggshell fine porcelain cup out of the kiln at 400 degrees celsius…and to be honest I actually have remarkably few breakages and crackages (yes, I know that’s not a real word but I like it) given my dare devil studio habits. Despite its supposed fragility, clay is really a very strong, forgiving, versatile and hardy medium. I love it. And it loves me. Every now and then, however, it likes to give me little reminders as to who’s boss, a gentle reminder that the only reason it doesn’t crack and break all the time is because IT doesn’t want to…..I tend to keep those things that go wrong because I find them quite intriguing. A cup that has cracked straight down the middle gives you an insight into the object that you normally wouldn’t get to see – the clay glaze interface (now that’s getting very technical sounding isn’t it…) is where the clay and the glaze fuse or bond. It is a little chemical masterpiece, and things like this fascinate me endlessly. So you see, my impatience is a GOOD thing... I LEARN from it...I get INSPIRED by it...so it's ok for me to keep being like this...

(if you look very closely at the picture above you too can share in the joy of the clay glaze interface....a little hard to see with white porcelain and a clear glaze)

4 comments:

kylie j said...

I like to think we are all a bit like pots, sometimes complete and beautiful, sometimes a little crazed, sometimes cracked, sometimes falling to pieces, sometimes half empty, sometimes half full...
you are an inspiration!
love kylie j xxx

Mel Robson said...

he he...a nice analogy! Unfortunately I am usually of the crazed and falling to pieces type, occasionally a little wobbly too!!

one black bird said...

oh i have to laugh, not at you but with you...how many times have i pulled things from the kiln (while still hot) wrapped & packed them in my car a few hours before a show...i like to say you can always spot a potter on the road by the smoke coming out of the trunk of the car.

we all do it, it's half of the fun.

Mel Robson said...

keeps life exciting eh!