March 11th, 2005

The gentleman is always properly dressed

The precocious child

When I was younger, my uncles took a strange delight in telling "Pete and Repeat" stories to me. If you haven't been fortunate enough to hear one of these nuggets, they all kind of take the same form:

"Pete and Repeat are walking across an old, rickety bridge. Pete falls into the river. Who's left?"
"Pete and Repeat are walking..."

Now, the crucial piece of this story is to have a listener who obliges by answering "Repeat" at each point where the teller asks "Who's left?" The odd thing about my uncles' telling and retelling of this joke was that never once, not once, did I respond with "Repeat." The very first time I heard it and every time after, when the question was posed, that crucial moment that the jest hangs on, I responded, "Well, no one... Repeat would just fall in right after him." I was three. I still remember their frustration over my failng to play their game.

I just didn't think the rules were fair, so I changed them.
The wheel will shape me

Never saw that coming

It felt good having my hands in clay again last night. I can't say that I did anything profound. In fact, after throwing a form that's destined to be a mug (woooo!), I pretty much overworked everything else I attempted.

The "junk" clay I used for the mug actually turned out to be pretty interesting. It was clay that I rescued off a drying slab consisting of white stoneware that got mixed up with some brown. I didn't notice when I wedged it or even while I was working with it, but as I cleaned up the piece in preparation for taking it off the wheelhead, I found alternating color swirls spiraling up the piece. Darrell even asked if I had done it on purpose.

I started talking to another student about feeling like she has a hopelessly long way to go. Right now, it's really about learning the craft, and she's been feeling overwhelmed because she can't see how she'll reach a point where she'll know enough technique so that she can actually start to make art. I told her about the "thousand bowl theory" to much eye-rolling. It was interesting seeing the same self-critique and frustration manifesting in someone else. It was also interesting that she told me (with a smile) that I was being "nauseatingly positive" about it all.
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    Route 66 Killers - The Devil's Martini