Friday, April 20, 2007


Silence can be a good thing...and it can be a real bore! I've been wondering about my own silence recently. Have I not posted anything in the last couple of weeks because I don't have anything to say or because I don't want to say publicly what I do have to say? Probably the latter though I laugh at myself for such a thought since I know very well how non-applicable the word public is to my blog! But I have not wanted to talk here about my block in the studio nor the little steps to overcome it that I have made recently. But in my pottery journal I have written rather extensively about both!

Perhaps it has to do with the experimental stage I find myself in right now. I am trying to find my path, as it were, through all the possibilities that are available to me right now. I had decided on some glazes I wanted to make in large quantities. Even made a list of ingredients I needed and went to Clayworld to collect them. Then when I went out to the studio yesterday to start mixing up the glazes I did a 180 degree turn around and decided that I was NOT going to make more glazes. I am going to empty out all the little containers I have of 'test glazes' first. I wish I could select a tidy little collection of glazes--maybe 6 or 8 glazes--and just stick with those. But I just can't be that determinate. Because I don't really know what I want to make--so I need all possibilities at my fingertips. But that does not help either! And the indecision is not limited to glazes. I tried to make a little list of 'things to make' and it is a LONG list of things to make--again I can't make up my mind what to focus on.

Recently I acquired a collection of Ceramics Monthly magazines from the 1980s ad 1990s. I was surprised to see that well known potters are making the same pots today that they were shown making 20 years ago. I just acquired a beautiful book of the work of potter Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. Her work is elegantly simple--so appealing to me--and she has been making the same pots for years.

I long to be committed to something enough to make it over and over again, striving for greater refinement of the basic concept. Someone asked me once if I made anything else besides bowls. I took that to be a criticism. Perhaps I should go back to making just bowls unabashedly!


clayartist said...

Hi, Gay,
Thanks for the book recommendation. I found used copies listed on Amazon and will look forward to reading it.
I know how it is to have a block and feel like you're just spinning your wheels running from one shiny thing to another. The sheer volume of choices in clay can put you into the state of bamboozlement as a bull in a bullfight when he's been so bedazzled by the matador and all he can do is stand and stare.
I decided to think of it as similar to when your computer is whirring and chewing and digesting some function before spitting it out or giving you the blue screen of death. "Compiling"--crunching data--so I elect to call it that. Compiling has a more positive feel than "Block". heh
By the by, are you on CLAYART, the clay discussion email group? Great source of info about everything.

Sister Creek Potter said...

Thanks Jeanette! The book is a bit "off the wall" hope you enjoy it!
Yes, I am a member of Clayart--have been since the very beginnng of my "career" in clay--hate to begin a day without a good read there first!
I also check in on my favorite blogs at the start of the day--yours being one of the favorites! Thanks for checking in on mine! Gay