Thursday, February 26, 2009

a little bit of art every day

After several more frustrating days in the studio training my new glaze assistant, I realized that-- once again-- expectations are outstripping what reality can provide. I had to take a breathe and accept that replacing Sara is not a 3 or 4 week process, it's more like 3-4 months. Maybe more. Meanwhile, my constant struggle to have time to make pieces that are not just feeding that production machine is a battle that continues. I had this fantasy that hiring two new people to cover all of my production elements would free me up to become queen of the art manor, like now. Now, dammit!

For me, whining about not having time to make art is on par with that girlfriend of yours who whines about the bad boy she's been dating for years even though he keeps cheating on her. She goes on and on and nothing changes. People probably get sick of listening to me, and I get sick of listening to myself because I know, deep down, that the more you complain and talk about something, the less likely anything will get done about it. I just decided that rather than waiting for that perfect, golden time where I'll have all the time I need to make the things I want to make, I just have to make a little bit of art everyday. Because the time to make art is right now, not sometime off in the future when I have "time". By the time the stars line up properly to give me the perfect space, all of my ideas will be long gone, having become bored standing around in my brain waiting to be born. So that's my new motto: A little bit of art everyday.

Speaking of art, I managed to go to New York City for a few days after the Philly show. I toured most of the Chelsea galleries and finally visited the Museum of Art and Design. I really like that museum a lot, though I wish it were about 3 times as big. Also, their museum store should be selling my work. I saw some great pieces that totally inspired me. The thought I came away with is that being an artist, in a lot of ways, means being obsessed with an idea. And taking the time to explore that idea, not letting it go until you get a piece that satisfies and pleases you. Even if that idea is completely nuts.

I was anxious to get my hands in clay after that, and I am fortunate to have a very good friend who teaches at the Greenwich House Pottery. This person was actually the first person to give me a nudge toward clay, and here is is throwing cups. I have been visiting his classes and giving throwing demos when I'm in town, which pleases me to no end since I am a natural-born showoff, and I like to show him what his encouragement has wrought. And I really enjoy introducing students to my throwing method, where I basically use no water once I've centered the pot. This was a method taught to me by Bob Pool, who I assisted many years ago. My friend likes to tease me about my method-- his technique is the opposite-- but I think he likes his students to see there is more than one way to make a pot, and they are usually fascinated by what I'm doing. I threw a few things in the cause of a demo, but I was really doing it for myself, and happy I had a place to do it.


  1. Looks like the trip was good... and inspiring. I don't think ,truly, the waters ever part perfectly to allow us to have that PERFECT SPACE AND TIME to make art so your theory on a little every day is great. Sometimes hearing it from someone else makes all of the difference in the world and I thank you for that. Perhaps the little part of each day that you carve out for the "special" work can grow and grow with time...

  2. Christine11:28 AM

    Hi, I enjoyed the video posted awhile back of you throwing, and am very interested in your method of throwing without water. If you ever have the time I would love to see a demo posted, it would be much appreciated.


  3. I don't get tired of hearing you complain - you are speaking of an issue that plagues all artists: Art vs. Life. I'm not sure that anyone ever completely resolves it either - it's just an artist affliction.

    I appreciate your blog because you're sincere and honest about what goes on with your process. Don't stop complaining.


  4. Well, believe it or not, one of my pals is now editing a video of me throwing, and I bet I can get it up within the next week-- stay tuned!

  5. I agree with all of the comments above, especially Elissa's.

    I look forward to seeing your video!

  6. I have a small section of my studio that is set aside for new work, completely different from what I normally do.

    That's for reminding me it is time to visit that place more often, it's usually quite inspiring.

  7. sometimes you have to just let the muse take over--it's hard to interrupt production to play but it usually leads to something fruitful.
    I also look forward to seeing your video--I always wondered how to throw dry.

  8. Hello,

    Just found your blog. Awesome work!

    ~ Gabriela ~