The peaceful part of the work routine has returned. I experience a weird gap in my life/meaning when I am busy with all the sales and shows because, through many hours of discussion with patient Dave, we have realized that I am not motivated by money. The acquisition of cash holds no happy thoughts for me. Sure it pays the mortgage and means that I am not required to find an alternate source of the coloured bills but not much else. So when I am away from the clay and studio life I am sort of set adrift. Maybe I measure my worth in each pot that I throw, truth is an odd snack with this morning's coffee.
So, we were down in victoria last week getting the perfect sized bags to send home pottery in, and we always spend an hour or two in the book shops whenever we can and I found a book called "Art and Fear" and have been unable to process how exactly the author, David Bayles, is able to dig into my brain! He chats frankly about all the guck that has been building up in my head about whether I am actually and "Artist" or an "artisan" or whether I am a "craftsperson".....strangely the answer might be that no one cares and all theses titles are crap.
Now, I haven't read the whole book but it seems like the point he's made so far is that the only assessment of your progress in the art that you make is THE ART THAT YOU MADE. Such an interesting idea, that we need to make the work to see if we can make the work we are meant to make. The gallery owner who sneers at your work is not the person who has an valid opinion, like the woman who surveyed my table of pots and asked if I could just pick out the work in the colours that would "really sell"!!
The pot that you made last week is the one to teach or show you what you were doing and paying attention to last week. The book also makes a huge, loud statement that you are the reason for each piece of art, each practice hour you spent learning that work on the piano is a direct source of polish when it is finally performed live for others!
Anyway, I made a few really nice smaller bowls, little humble things for the morning eggs or making pesto and trimmed them yesterday. The bowls were straight from my soul and had no self awareness at all, like the best pots to make can be, they were not thinking of themselves. All too art'y' for some but suffice it to say the money is out of the way and the pots are starting to flow through me again which is such a great feeling.
This week will find me out in Cedar at the Tozan kiln to see how it is done, how pots are wadded and the thoughts put into loading the big dragon, and then I plan on staying to help with the firing as much as I can without missing the Market on saturday. I will take a lot of photos and put them up here when I get back and showered up.... as those who know about my past.....it will be interesting to be back staring into the actual fire...it's been a long time.....
PS the photo is from inside the studio, of a tiny frog, who was taking also taking a break during a huge rain storm, also notice the bike to work shirt!!