Sunday, December 04, 2005

Introduction: Balancing Act

I took a wheel-throwing class my first year in college and quickly became very addicted to ceramics. I continued to take whatever classes in clay that I could until my graduation (BS in Elementary Education) last spring. In the meantime, I developed a small ceramics lab in my garage. With a cone 10 Skutt kiln, a Creative Industries wheel, lots of shelving, and raw glazing materials, I had the capability of doing independent work.

Just two months after graduation, my husband and I had our first child. I made the decision to be a stay at home mother. Whoever says that staying at home is easy should try it out for a 24-hour period with a newborn. The first three months were especially difficult. My daughter ate every two hours around the clock, often taking an hour to finish a meal. The remaining time was divided between changing diapers, rocking her to sleep, bathing her, and (time permitting) such non-essentials as brushing my teeth, taking a shower, putting on makeup, and catching up on sleep.

At five months, my daughter is finally to a point where she has a regular schedule. She sleeps at night (most of the time) without interruption. During the day, she takes a nap or two and is beginning to entertain herself between naps; giving me much needed free time. I have consistent chunks of time with which to work on my craft.

I schedule my time to work several hours a week on experimenting and building with clay. The goal is to create a coherent series of pots that make use of my talents and interests in handbuilding with puki bases, carving, sculpture, and using bisque stamps.

A favorite college ceramics instructor used to say that ceramics is the friendliest of all arts. The potter or sculptor will rarely ever guard jealously a technique or recipe because they know that even should another artist try the same thing in the same way, they would never get the same results. The very nature of the medium breeds spontaneity. As I work to develop my art, I will be completely open in sharing techniques, ideas, recipes, and results in the hopes of receiving feedback and even better ideas to add to my style.

Through this blog, I am hoping to meet others like myself; committed mothers who carve out chunks of their busy schedule to express themselves artistically through clay, as well as committed clay artists of all walks of life who share common interests.

No comments: