Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pushing my Limits...My Novel Freshman Experience, Part 20

   Wow, twenty posts on going back to school.  I'll do one more wrap up blog on it this term.  (I'm taking Ceramics 2 next term, so there will be more!  The Hobbit Hole is still in the kiln so I'll showcase that one on the last post.)             

We're glazing now.  And my pieces are coming out of the kiln. 

I'll confess, it's like Christmas.  I know how I wanted them to look, but I've never done it before so it's a surprise!  The uncertainty of glazing is pushing my comfort zone.  You see, I like to know what's coming up.  I like having a plan.  I can plan all I want with glazing, but it's still a crap shoot.  I can look at chips of how a glaze reacts to our clay body, but there are variables and even experienced potters can be surprised by a glazing result.   

I'm doing my report on Rob Barnard, I've talked about him before.  (You can read the post here.)  His career is built around controlled chaos.  He can plan and bring to a project his years of experience, but things still just happen.   “A key dimension of Barnard's aesthetic has been a tolerance for the slight irregularities and imperfections engendered by the wood-firing, and this new work goes a step further. The shows inclusion of a number of cracked and dented works indicates a Zen-like acceptance of all of nature's workings, not merely those that suit the preset needs of man. The results are highly poetic." (Rob Barnard by Alice Thorson, City Paper, Washington, April 26, 1991)   

So, I glazed my cups trying to be free and not worry.  I experimented.  And even though my Kiln Goddess's arms fell off, I'm confident I can glue them back in place.  And maybe I love her just a little more because she's damaged.   

        I tried for a bit more control with my teapot and Hobbit Hole, realizing that glazing effects can surprise even the most experienced potter, like Barnard and Professor H.  I'm hoping for the best. The  professor was very patient answering my repeated questions.    

And my teapot (the quote on the back is from Carry Her Heart...the heroine's garden was the inspiration) I really wanted the matte, rough tree look for the body, but the glossy, color for the flowers, butterfly and leaf on the lid.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  

So here's what I'm walking out of class with...a renewed effort to push my own limitations; to push my personal status quo; to experiment.  To find glee in even my failures.  So this class not only gave me an entry into earth art, but it also pushed me to try to relax my expectations.  I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! And thanks for being so sweet and following me on this new journey! I'm already so excited about next term!  


PS If you missed any of my Novel Freshman Experience posts, here are links:
Part 19Part 18, 
 Part 17, Part 16,  Part 15, Part 14, Part 13, Part 12, Part 11, Part 10, Part 9Part 8Part 7 Part SixPart 5Part 4Part 3Part 2Part 1

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