Saturday, November 12, 2005

midterm creation tiles Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pottery Chops

I have been so busy lately getting my pottery chops that there has been little time to write. After 60 cylinders, 50 mugs, 20 lidded forms, and now on to thirty bowls, there isn't as much time to reflect through a keyboard. However, there is an abundance of time to reflect, wonder, think as the wheel spins and my body attempts to connect to the clay in an act of co-creation. The practise is good. Practise will serve me well, creating a body memory of being with the clay, learning how to work with that soon, if I keep up the practise, I will be able to play more in the we are comfortable with each other. It is a dance, I think....getting these pottery chops...a lesson in improvisation, in being in tune, in getting the nuances. I listened to an interview with Joshua Bell on NPR one day, and they were talking about a piece of music that he has played thousands of times (something by Mozart, but I don't remember which piece.) He said that each time he played it, even though he knew it inside and out, on top and underneath, the act of playing that familiar piece revealed a fresh nuance about his playing, or his violin, or even the piece of music itself. I had a professor once, who gave the exact same lectures year after year, from the same yellow legal pad paper that she painstakingly wrote out in perfect cursive lettering. I heard some of these lectures twice and three times, in different settings, not to mention reading them in her publications. They were, and still are, captivating for the listener--because her work was groundbreaking in feminist hermaneutics and biblical interpretation. But what about for her? I wondered, did she get bored? I asked her about this. She peered at me through her owlish tortoise shell glasses with the ever slightest smile, and said, "Each time I give a lecture, it is like the first time I ever give it. " Nothing boring there. Nothing boring in throwing a million mugs, either. Each time I sit down with a lump of clay, I never really know how it will unfold into being exactly...but as I practise, I feel that I am getting more and more accomplished at the art of improvisation and craft and contribute as much to the clay as it gives back to me.