Saturday, June 9, 2012

Another Step Up the Mountain - But Where is the Peak?

More from those old Ceramics Monthlies. The Feb 1994 issue had a super article by Steven Hill titled "Don't Put the Flames Out" where he talks about his inspirations and how important it is to continue to develop your work over a lifetime no matter how great your pots are - otherwise they will lose their vitality. Steven finished the article with, "A favourite analogy of mine is of a mountain climber slowly making his way up toward the peak, dreaming of the summit. I hope to never reach that peak, because from that point on, it's a long downhill slide".  My father who was Austrian instilled in me a love of mountains so Steven's analogy about making pots and mountains really hit home.

I've been thinking about Steven's quote for some time now - I seem at times to have lost the path to the peak as I tend to wander around a lot. Sometimes I think I am going downwards as I revisit past work but I think I eventually get back on the path - but the path is hard to see as my work seems to evolve in multiple directions and not always with success. However I think the important part is to always keep on trying.

It's a bit hard to see but on left - bottom corners paddled up a bit  Right - bottom corners left flat
I used to make all my slab vases had a flat bottoms. When I started making smaller ones, I would paddle the bottom and the side - with rounding up the sides a bit - giving the pots a lift - having picked that up in Vince Pitelka's workshop at MISSA in 2011. Now I started doing that on all my large slab vases as well and what a difference it seems to make  - more life, elegance, lightness etc...etc. Now it seems obvious yet it took a few years to work out and develop. Another small step up the mountain.

I think as well it is very important to get impartial knowledgeable feedback - so I like to conclude that analogy with this - like many mountaineers on the really big peaks - you can't do it alone. Fusion - the Ontario Clay and Glass Association is offering their second mentoring program and hopefully I will get accepted as I find that I really miss and need that help up the mountain.

No comments:

Post a Comment