Saturday, May 16, 2009

Unconditional Love

I can't help but feel a strong connection between clay and the human condition that we call life. It all started when I was attaching a spout on a teapot. It was surprising how it's personality changed each time I repositioned the spout. Then I accidentally nicked it, and immediately began to rub it to make it better. I imagine that love for pottery is very much like the unconditional love a parent might have for a child. When a woman gets pregnant, she may wish for a boy, but in turn get a girl. She might think her child will have blond hair with blue eyes, just to give birth to a green eyed red head due to some recessive gene no one knew she had from her great great grandmother. But the child is loved all the same. Each time a kiln is fired, I find something unexpected, even thought it is so different from what I was hoping for.
I have always wanted to sculpt a bust, but was always hesitant to take on such an endeavor. However, this semester I am taking a hand building class with Biliana Popova, and as part of the curriculum were asked to hand in one hand built piece of my choice for our final project. So I thought - Just Do it! - This is the piece I've been working on. Now anyone who knows anything about clay will tell you that it is still very early in it's stage to get excited. But I don't care! I have always enjoyed painting portraits, but this was so much more satisfying. To be able to run your fingers across the bridge of the nose or placing your palms on the shoulders is very different than staring at an image from a canvas - No matter how life like it looks. At the moment this piece has not been fired and is still its leatherhard stage. I wanted to photograph it just in case something bad happened during firing. I hope that the kiln Gods have mercy on this humble potter.