Yesterday was a great throwing day. The studio looks so clean from the front to back mopping/cleaning that I did in preparation for the show that it was a joy to start a new series of work. It was nice to see everyone that came out to my Spring Open House and send them off with special pieces of pottery. I was a bit sorry to see the little yellow pomegranite jar go--didn't even get a print size image of it. One of the dangers of bringing work out of a very recently fired kiln and it just leaping out the door to a new home. Oh well, make another and explore the idea more, I suppose.
Right now I'm working on a set of communion plates and a baptismal basin and pitcher for one commission, some dinnerware for another, and 170 sauce bowls for a wedding in Sept. You may see the count down of those puppies here as the weeks wind forward. I read in the most recent Ceramics Monthly about "owning" a form. I think I will "own" that little sauce bowl by September.
Owning a form, or just throwing a form over and over again has been something I realized was invaluable for me to develop my throwing skills for many years. My biggest challenge early on as a potter was the plate form. I remember struggling and flopping so many of them. Or seeming to get it right, only to have the bisque form reveal inconsitancies and bad techniques. When I teach throwing to beginners, it never ceases to amaze me of all the various movements and skills they have to master just to get a small piece off the wheel consistently. I know that the repetition of forms is one of the most effect ways to stop thinking about all the parts of throwing and actually start making pots. I know that when you see someone's hand slip effortlessly across the belly of a pot, it is no different than watching Michael Jordan become suspended in air and execute a seemingly uncalculated movement that lands the ball in the basket every time. Behind that one move are a thousand, thousand prior movements, many of which ended in failure. So my mantra for the week is
"Own the forms you long to create, own your life as an artisan, own the space and moments of your creation, and you will own your dreams."