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A little less than a happy high
A cool guy named Mark
While I was wandering around in Maine with So and Sean, we stopped at the art supplies store that services Maine College of Art. After being impressed by the enormous easel that greets you as you enter the door and trying to figure out if I was even remotely as cool as some of the people who were wandering around shopping, I found my way to a section that had various implements for working clay. I picked up a clay hook and it just felt good to have in my hand. I haven’t used any of these tools since I took the one class back in college, but it felt right.

I remembered quite suddenly how much I loved doing raku pieces. There was something that was incredibly satisfying about the utter chaos of the technique, and our methods were more haphazard than most. The forms were glazed with whatever was available, fired in a low-tech kiln, and then placed in a bucket filled with something flammable as they cooled. Every piece was an explosion of color that had only been partially planned.

Of course, I haven’t shared that I was horrible at wheel-thrown forms (I never made it past the "thick bowl" stage of the art), and my hand-built work was mostly uninspired. Still, it was so incredible to work something so tangible with my hands. It grounded me and made me feel like I really did have a connection to things and to the world. It was the one thing that I let myself do without obsessing over the outcome and worrying about being judged. I did it just for the sake of doing it, and the professor seemed not only to recognize that, but actually encouraged it. Can't for the life of me remember his full name, though he's the "Mark" referenced in the title. I remember that he claimed to be a dada-ist (a term I still don't fully understand) and that he had pieces on display at galleries around the city.

Interestingly, of the four years I spent at BC, the year that I took the ceramics course was my most enjoyable. I’ll not credit it wholly with the quality of my experience since this was also the year of my greatest academic experimentation (Revelation in Hindu Scripture being most notable), and the time when I developed most of the friendships that I had in school. It’s notable that it was also the one year that I held myself out of a committed relationship. It was lonely, to be sure, but my college relationships were incredibly stifling.

Ok, now I’m getting tangential. Nothing to see here, folks...
6 comments or Leave a comment
From: uruz Date: July 9th, 2002 10:38 am (UTC) (Link)

So the bottom line is, you're feeling nostalgic about working with Clay.

er, clay.


*ducks and runs*
komos From: komos Date: July 9th, 2002 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, brewing with Clay was pretty cool.

Working with clay is something else entirely, but as you seem to dislike disertations, I'll keep the explanation short. Suffice to say that there's been something of a creative streak that's been struggling to make itself felt. Part of this is remembering the things that I once liked doing.
From: uruz Date: July 9th, 2002 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't even know what a dishertayshin is. ;)

Nah, I'm just foolin' around witchu. It's good to find forgotten loves and bring them back to the spotlight.
komos From: komos Date: July 9th, 2002 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)

It would help if I could spell.

Yeah, I know. Pardon if I take your foolin' and use it as a springboard to refine my ideas.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: July 9th, 2002 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Have You Been Reading My Mind Again, or Am I Reading Yours?

In the past few days, I have found myself pining for an art class, specifically, a pottery class. I never took one in college, but in High School I *loved* my pottery class. I created some really cool stuff, including a cat sculpture that was reminiscent of Egyptian art. Unfortunately, my brother Chris didn't realize that it was a container with a lid and picked it up and turned it over, smashing the lid. Supposedly, he picked up the pieces and was going to glue them together, but that was over 10 years ago and the cat remains un-whole.

It sorta feels like I'm not meant to have the things I make with clay, like the doing is more important than the result. (When I was in the seventh grade, I made a monster sulpture that was destroyed when someone else's sculpture blew up in the kiln. In the eight grade, I made a clay sculpture of a Homer Simpson-like guy sitting on a couch drinking a 40 ounce beer; I don't know exactly what happened to it, but it never made it past firing, either.) Still, I was very proud of my work with clay. Of all the non-performance art forms I ever studied, I felt most at home working with it. I loved the feel of it in my hands and watching a lump become something. I would love to do so again someday.
komos From: komos Date: July 9th, 2002 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)


Through ample consumption of blue cheese accompanied by Stella Artois, I have absorbed some of cosmicserpent's psychic ability...

One of the coolest documentaries I've seen recently showed an artist in Minnesota who built a huge, traditional woodfire kiln and fired hundreds of pieces at once. A good number didn't survive the process, but the ones that remained were truly magnificent. I think there's loss assumed in the art. You end up creating things from the earth that are somehow both permanent and incredibly fragile.
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