Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the magical vibration of art

There are some pieces of ceramic work of my own that I keep and don't ever sell. Sometimes, it's the first piece of a series and it contains a seed of an idea that I want to preserve for myself. Occasionally it's the end of a series and I want to add it to my personal archive so I have a physical reminder of the work I've made, and a path to show how far I've come. And every once in a while a piece is just special. It contains a magical vibration that launches it into a different sphere, and I can't quite bring myself to put a price tag on it.

I wish that I could make pieces like that all the time, the pieces that have the spark of magic. Trying to put my finger on exactly what that spark is, how to name it, is like trying to describe a smell. Trying to mindfully re-create it is impossible, because it's a gift. And the gift reinforces the dream of art; my dream is that when I create ceramic pieces I'm participating in a human narrative that hungers for inspiration in beauty and creativity. I struggle with this notion sometimes, because I am personally moved by art that really gets me thinking, that tells a story about the condition of being a person on this planet.

When I was younger than I am now, I really wanted to be a painter and tell these stories. They are all stored up inside me. But when it came to putting the brush to canvas, I usually choked. I painted for years and there are very few paintings I created that I felt any satisfaction with. If I continued to follow the painter path, maybe I would have gotten better, or maybe I would have become really bitter as I continued to struggle with getting what was inside me onto a canvas. Pottery, for me, is the easiest thing in the world. The second I learned how to throw on the wheel, I was done with painting, I never looked back. With pottery, I don't feel the need to tell stories, I just want to blow people's minds with gorgeous pieces. If I'm really good, maybe I can take them out of the moment they are in and put them in another place as they contemplate my work.