Being away from my studio for long periods of time feels like holding my breath underwater for way too long, only instead of my lungs, I feel like my soul is going to burst. Life has had me out and about, selling at holiday craft fairs and on line, spending time with friends and family for the Christmas and New Years holidays, resuming my teaching gig in glass fusing at the museum, and doing the big time suck known as working on the computer. I finally got to throw some clay around last week.
Usually even though I’m away from clay, projects are fermenting in my brain. I’ve been trying to work out another sculpture for my Ex-Voto series in my head, with not alot of luck. So I just went into the clay bin and got busy on the wheel. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get unstuck. I took a workshop over the summer and was so impressed by everyone else’s prowess at the wheel that I resolved to hone my skills a bit, so my first exercise was bottles using 3 to 5 pounds of clay. It was fun and I got 7 out of 8 balls for my troubles, not bad for a long drought.
I put them in the wet box and let them keep to ponder the next step. I have some new raku glazes that I think would look great on a bottle, but, these were just too plain, like blank canvases begging to be painted! So I saved a couple and decided to spice up the rest. I’ve got a glaze pallet of really wild runny glazes that break and change color depending on where they run and pool, so I broke out my texture tools, made some slip and went alittle wild.
I’m excited for the next step and my wheels are already turning for more forms and styles. I hope to raku or luster strike fire as much as I can, because I’ll be teaching a raku workshop at Peters Valley the first weekend in June and I want to practice. It’s so nice to be in the clay again, I feel like my soul can breathe again, phew!
Like I said, I’m teaching glass fusing again at the Montclair Art Museum Yard School of Art. I have a wonderful group of students this winter, a mixture of returning students, advanced, intermediate and beginners. It’s a thrill to see what they do with the glass and I try so hard to fire everything with care. I have a gremlin that lives in my kiln that loves to play tricks on my firings, from sprinkling kiln wash on the glass ware while it’s molten to over or under firing very reliable firing schedules. I’m happy to report that rather than ruin my student work, the little scamp only ruined 2 of my own trays. I swear I could hear him giggling behind the kiln when I lifted the lid.
Oh it’s great to be back in the studio, it’s going to be a wonderful new creative year!