I read a lot about pottery, potters, and their techniques. Most potters, as other artists, sketch out their ideas. They keep design books or idea books, they are wonderful compilations. I love looking at them...and I am in awe.
I make pots and my pottery has changed over time; it's become more refined and balanced. From reading the masters, I have learned the importance of repetition and practice. I have tried new techniques, new forms, done hundreds of glaze tests, switched clay bodies and experimented with other changes. However, I have yet to face my biggest fear, pre-planning how that lump of clay will look BEFORE I put my hands on it.
Because I cannot afford to be a stay-at-home-potter I make pots on weekends and holidays. This is also the time I have to make glazes, photograph my pottery, fire the kiln, trim and decorate pots, sell pots, work on advertising, marketing, etc. and clean the house, exercize, and keep my marriage going! As a weekend warrior I tend to focus my energy on making pots. I feel satisfied when the shelves are full of pots in various stages of completion. When the shelves are bare I get anxious. Bare shelves can leave me confused, as in: where to begin? Having pre-planned ideas would give me more focus, a direction to move in. I feel something more like terror when I face a sketch book filled with blank pages!
Planning, taking time to be quiet and let the creative process flow on paper is what I need to make the next step. When I am quiet, my mind plays tricks on me- it tells me "you are wasting time", " you are not focused", "nothing is happening", "you need to...(fill in the blank), etc. So far, I have not been able to sit quietly with the sketch book...okay, the truth is I have not sat...quietly...at all...yet. Learning to make the time I know I need and using it, ignoring my mind to tap into something deeper, that is my challenge.
So, I have a new goal for 2010 ~ Kings Creek Pottery will be sketched, planned, and otherwise inspired!
Check out this link for a wonderful blog entry on Kristen Kieffer's sketch books...she is one of my inspirations!