Today I found a spare 3 hours to dedicate to throwing clay again. To help get my mind into the zone, I always start with a super clean room, with my required tools laid out, 10 x weighed and wedged balls of clay and some of my favourite music playing. This process can take minimum half an hour, and its during this process that I empty my head of other things, and just focus on the shapes and forms I plan to create. I guess everyone has their own ritual, but I find this always makes for a relaxed and productive time in the studio.
It has been 2 years since I have thrown at the wheel, and it is a complex skill, with many 'rules' the process has to follow to be successful. There was a little trepidation sitting quietly next to my lagging confidence, but off I went. A couple of weeks ago I sat for a rushed 30 minutes to throw with no success. I put this down to being rushed, and also working with clay that was a little stiff after sitting in storage for 2 years. Since then, I have pressed long screw drivers, at regular spacings, into all my clay blocks and filled the holes with water, before wrapping them tightly and leaving them to rehydrate.
What a wonderful difference!! The clay was soft and responsive, I wasn't rushed -and I am developing a sense of calm and peace in my new space. There was a couple of duds that I will squish and reclaim but I came out with 8 successful vessels.
Another challenge I faced is that I have my first order of a set 4 coffee mugs - which means they need to be relatively the same size and shape in every way - and I succeeded!!
What a great way to empty my mind and just enjoy the process.
Since my last post, I have also had an exciting delivery arrive with lots of glaze ingredients and pre-made commercial glazes, a few new tools (can never have enough of them I say!) and some fresh blocks of clay. The outside kiln area is looking very organized now. In the past my kiln has been in my studio, which meant while it was firing I could not work in there (too many toxic fumes, although vented well), so my work time was restricted. Here, we have built an outside kiln area, where I will do all my glazing and firing and my work space will remain easier to clean and access. You can see my gas kiln on the lawn, it is yet to be positioned, my small new s/h electric under the sheet and theres a s/h top loader at the end of the work table. So I now have more firing styles to choose from and so a broader range of glaze outcomes.
The next kiln will be a small raku kiln I am building - I will post the progress of that soon.
The last piece of news is super exciting for me!! Today I confirmed my order for my business cards, and I love them. You may have read previously of my love for all things typography, and they will be wonderfully tactile letterpress on sturdy brown card. As soon as they arrive in the new year I will show them off :)
I am a certified creative addict- having played with arty methods constantly since childhood. Now I work mostly in clay, painting and textiles - always designing and making new objects.