on everything that I have been experiencing. At this moment I am firing the soda kiln…I started at 6am this morning and it will probably be a late night. Some recent conversations have brought on a lot of thoughts about my work and why it is that I do what I do. I had just finished two firings in one weekend…a wood firing at Baltimore Clay Works and a Soda firing at Hood College. Sitting in the studio with those pieces spread across the table I was having a conversation with my good friend and potter, Lisa. She asked me while discussing our work if I would ever consider firing differently such as electric or reduction, and step away from wood and soda firing. I immediately said no. And when she asked why, I knew exactly the reasoning behind my abrupt response. I know the hard work involved in these firings, the hours invested, the materials, the money, and the dedication and precision.
atmospheric firing. That one magnificent pot, possibly two if you are lucky,
reminds you that the long duration of time and work was well worth every single second of struggle and doubt. And if it were not for those hours invested, the frustration while firing, or lost pots, that specific piece may not seem as beautiful or valuable. It may be tossed aside as typical or predictable. Just as in life, I believe it’s the moments that don’t work out, that make you appreciate them when they do…as well as recognize them.
surrounding me…my work that I had spent countless hours and efforts creating I was taken aback by the emotion that overwhelmed me. “I made these.” I became so emotional studying my pieces and realized I never want to lose that ability…the ability to sit there and be affected by what I see in front of me and most importantly to connect with it. If I can’t connect with my own art, than how can I ask anyone else to? I see a piece and I can recall the moment I made it, and the thought I was contemplating, and the emotion I was feeling. I see myself in my work and I feel an inspiration and a strength from creating it and I think, “I found it…I found exactly what I want to do and why I want to do it. I found what will keep me going no matter what struggles are placed in my path, whether it be in life or in clay. That is a great gift.”