Friday, January 02, 2009

starting fresh

Happy new year! I hope everyone is in an industrious mood as we ready ourselves for 2009. Me, I'm getting serious. I started by hosting a party for my pottery posse on the first day of the year, asking everyone to bring their old pots that needed to be smashed. The pots that are perfect except for the hairline cracks, the part that stuck to the kiln shelf, the bad design, the handle that fell off, the chips... basically, the pots that are too fucked-up to sell, or nobody wants to buy, but are still hanging around the studio, gathering dust and taking up space.

See, this is the thing about being a potter: there is not a heartier soul on the planet, and we are fantastically gifted. I mean, we make beautiful wares out of mud for christ sake. Like every gift, it has its good side and its bad side. The good side is, we make beautiful wares out of mud. The bad side is, we get stuck with the stinky fruits of our endeavors, but we think we can make a diamond out if that turd eventually. Remember those dead bird cake stands? They have been sitting on my shelf since spring, and those babies are big, heavy, and depressing to look at. I don't want to sell them, because they are too messed up, and I don't want to throw them out, because they represent so much effort. So I lug them around, drained of a tiny bit of energy every time they catch my eye.

We set up the pottery smashing station out of our dining room window. It was ideal because the garage is below our apartment, and there is enough distance between window and driveway to create an incredibly satisfying smashing sound:

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or not:


The first pot I tossed, I must admit I was conflicted. It hurt. I felt sad, and not sure I was doing the right thing. It was like giving a beloved pet The Shot when they are limping around, in pain, and unable to eat anymore, but you still love them and want them to keep on living so you can love them some more. But I got over it as I tossed out more and more, and the weight of carrying around these pots was lifted. In that way, it was not like giving a pet The Shot, because when all the pots were in shards in the driveway, I was happy they were gone, and pleased with my cleared off shelves. If you have not gotten rid of those old pots, do it now. It was totally fantastic, appeals to the destructo in all of us, and the noise it makes is really cool.
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