Saturday, December 06, 2014

Giving Light

"Give light and people will find the way."  ~Ella Baker

When I find myself stressed or worried, depressed or struggling, very happy or excited, curious or pondering, I turn to art to give me the means to express what is happening inside.  So, when faced with the events of the past few weeks, I turned again to making things to help me connect with people who may also have a heavy heart.

I posted an idea on Facebook.  Below you will find the plates I am making and plan send to the people who participated in this project with me.  Most of these people I do not know in person.  As well, I'm new to pottery, so this is not an attempt to share my skills.  This is a humble attempt to connect in a time when it seemed to me we are at risk of polarization.    

Update number one:

Here are the first three under way, in their various stages of progress.  One flattened into a square. One stamped, with edges turned up.  One with feet.  I'm nervous about the glazing part.  That's the stage I'm not strong at.  I plan to keep it simple.  Fingers crossed.

What has really stood out for me so far is how delicate these are and how much care they need to take them to a more stable state. I'm not aiming for perfect. I'm cautious not to do harm. I'm aware that I don't really know what I'm doing, so I'm slower than someone more skilled would be, always on alert to the potential of things going wrong, yet possibly more forgiving of mistakes in the medium and in myself. The parallel between this process and the process (for me) of navigating relationships with people -- loved ones, acquaintances or strangers -- is hard for me to miss. That struck me as interesting.

Update two:

Here are the raw clay, unfired plates, with the words given to me embossed on them.

Hema.  "Right here in the Rainbow."

Shannon.  "Leap and the net will appear."

Eric.  "Our Hearts, Spirits, Minds and Souls Seething in the Sun."

Julie.  "i imagine that yes is the only living thing.  E. E. Cummings"

(I almost forgot to take a photo of this one before firing it, so I captured this in the car on the way to the pottery studio.)

Jill.  "Takk for maten."

Update Number Three:

Now that I have five plates completed and bisque fired, I have glazed the first one to see how it turns out.  Keeping fingers crossed that the lettering can be seen.  

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