Yesterday I took my computer to Diana’s to show her my pictures from our trip to New Mexico. She is so dear—she probably had lots more important things to do but she made me feel like visiting with me was all she had to do in the world! After the picture show we visited a bit about the status of my clay work. And after a good deal of discussion we determined that 1) I need to change clay, 2) I should give up worrying about having my clay vitrified at ^6, and 3) I might try using Black Jack clay! Lots of big decisions.
After our visit I have made a couple of decisions. I called Black Jack and have determined to drive to East Texas next week to pick up my first load of clay. I had been attracted to using Black Jack clay way back in the beginning of my clay life but had been disuaded by consideratins of trouble—it is not sold in San Antonio—and somthing I was told at Armadillo (don't remember what was said!) And because I thought I wanted to use a white clay. It was attractive to me just because it is from East Texas—near where I was born and near my mother's home where I spent a good deal of time the first 8 years of my life. Diana said it is a wonderful clay to throw. And Tony Clennell was so impressed with it when he visited Texas he brought bags of it to the San Antonio workshop to give to folk who might consider using it. So I'm going to give it a try.
I also decided to enroll in Diana's class next semester at Southwest School of Art and Craft. Taking the classes at SAAC keeps me grounded in a certain sense. I have good guidance readily available and a supportive community to be part of. The downside to taking the classes, for me, is having to pack up my equipment each week to take downtown and then unpack when I get home to work, and it seems that we cover so much territory in the classes that it can become superficial for me—I need more time to work on the various parts. However, the way Diana described what we will be doing makes the class sound more focused—tighter.
The workshop at Santa Fe Clay was very stimulating and I am eager to begin working on some of the design techniques we were shown. But the first step is a lot of PRACTICE! Practice using my brushes on newspaper, practice drawing simple forms, practice trailing slip. I also need to do some work developing slip. I think the big problem I’ve had with slip trailing is not getting the right consistency. I also want to practice using the air brush for spraying glazes. Lots of practice!