Lovin’ Amy

Journi received a pink teddy bear among her shower gifts before she was born.  Thru the course of the past year, the bear became a favorite along with a stuffed ape that was named April and it seemed only fitting to name the bear Amy.  Amy has gone everywhere with Journi, on trips and to the sitter, outside to play and down for naptime.  She has been washed countless times and is close to being potty trained these days.  As Journi has entered an age when she is pretending, Amy is her companion.  She practices dressing Amy, reading to Amy and giving Amy snacks.

Today when I came home, Journi was toting our momma kitty around, much to the irritation of the cat who finally wrestled her way free.  Journi thought this was hilarious and went looking for the cat again.  After some time, she came back with Amy in her arms.  She told me in her toddler voice that “Amy not momma kitty…Amy is just Amy.” At this she wrapped her arms around Amy, buried her nose in Amy’s neck with a sigh and rocked her back and forth.

“amy is just amy”… i would do well to remember this, that when i am feeling less than, because i think i am not open enough, or too emotional, not creative enough or too fat, not tech savvy enough or too messy of a housekeeper… that Pat is just Pat, and it is enough…

that there is unconditional love in the world, and you are enough…you are you, and that’s enough.

Advertisements

who ya think ur talkin to?!

“the work of art acts like another living person with whom we are conversing” ~ Anton Ehrenzweig

When was the last time you had a project so deep in your soul that it took on a life of its own?  I have had this happen to me a few times, the most notable being  several years ago.  Being a production potter for years- being used to making every piece look alike- it took some doing for me to get ‘looser’ in my throwing techniques.  Yet whenever I would go thru Ceramics Monthly or other art magazines, the pieces that i admired and even drooled over were pieces that had a gestural quality to them, pieces that had tension and edge…grit.  But looking at all of my little pitchers, lined up like nuns, in the studio…they were prim and proper, no edge…no grit.  And really, I myself am not a prim and proper sort (“omg,” you are saying,”…really!?”).  I was at a loss as to how to begin…how to give myself permission to not make every pot the same…tight and controlled…  but the beginning…it happened –in the most hilarious way…

when we lived on the farm, I used to throw pots in the basement of our house.  Dean, my husband, had put up concrete blocks and 2×10 boards and I would line up pot after pot on these boards as they were thrown.  We had a cat, Kadafy (named after the terrorist of the time), who liked to hang out with me walking the ledge above the pottery shelves, or sometimes sitting on the seat beside me.  Kadafy was a very good studio cat!  As you know, pots are very soft clay when they are first formed, and have to sit out and firm up a bit to handle, to cut off of bats, to trim and sign.  I had this bunch of lidded jars sitting on shelves, probably 3 or 4 dozen innocently waiting…I was off doing other things for the afternoon.  When i returned in the evening to trim these pots, i found a half dozen of them in various forms of mush.  On closer inspection, i spied kitty paws in the clay…it appeared that the cat had hopped down from the ledge and landed on a soft clay pot, and in an effort to recover her footing, had hopped to the next pot and the next and so on, squashing them as she went.  When semi-firm clay is squashed, it makes a farting noise as the air escapes and leaves a pretty good fingerprint impression.  As i stood there gazing at the pots, they told the story, and soon I was laughing so hard i was crying, imagining my poor self assured Kadafy, scrambling from pot to pot, as they disintegrated beneath her feet like landmines.

A seed of an idea began to grow(it took a few years to put this into words)…people go thru life encountering different experiences.  Some biblical references consider people as vessels…like pots.  Upon further spiritual investigation, I felt a divine leading- explaining that as people travel thru their lives, they are marked…marked by things that happen to them, by people that they meet along the way, both good and bad…and they are marked by things that they do to themselves…and they may be marked by their maker, if they choose that. Marks can be decorative, or scars…they can be internal or external…marks can hinder how you move-emotionally or physically, or they can make your moves appear lyrical and rhythmic…

This concept blew me away… helped me to look at imperfect pots in a whole new way….imperfect people too.

taking time to play

I have been making pots, and picking wool and soooo enjoying the sunshine!  You know, when its so warm that when you lay back in the sun and close your eyes, you can see the brightness on the inside of your eyelids…ahhhh! been waiting for that!

Yesterday i was putting handles on mugs and pitchers in the studio- hands happily in clay.  Journi had come with me- she is loving the warm weather too.  She had walked out of the studio and i didn’t hear her, so i ventured outside to look for her.  She had found some pans that i use at the edge of the roof to catch rainwater and was pouring water from one to the other.  She was so intent on her task that she didn’t hear me.  Pouring the water from one pot to another would make her giggle, and then she would take a second and just swish her hand in the water…and giggle some more- mutter to herself and then pour water from that pan to another and swish again.  What a good time she was having! 🙂

I paused to watch her, marveling at how entertained she was- but also reflecting that this was one of the first times, at her age, that she had been able to explore her surroundings and make her own discoveries.  It has been winter until just recently, and snowy.  She has needed supervision and a hand to hold in the slippery conditions.  But on this day, she could walk around a bit on her own…that made all the difference.

what do you love about the medium you work in? is it a tactile thing? a visual thing? is it how the words sound? what makes you giggle with delight about creating?

take time to play today…walk around a bit…make some discoveries on your own…

color junkie

Inspiration is a message in a bottle from the distant shore, a window into the other world, a tap of the muse’s finger, the grace of the gods.  It comes when you least expect it.  ~ Phil Cousineau

Update: my etsy shop has a creation called “message in a bottle“- check it out 🙂

so there is a woman on Etsy.com, her profile name is ‘girlwithasword’ and she is from Iowa, and her yarns are … words escape me, they are mouth wateringly gorgeous…and its the colors, some are earthy and some are soft and warm, and some are what you would see at sunset in the Grand Canyon… and they inspired me!

(Imagine ‘superman music’) Dant-tuh- DA! I want to BE Girl with a Sword! I want a houseful of beautiful yarn like that! I want overflowing baskets of it hither and yon in my house!  I can do that, right!?

So I bought Kool-Aid, and Rit dye and got out my wool and kettles and set to dying!

I found out that Kool-Aid does a stunningly silent job of dying.  You wouldn’t expect that, but it does!  Kool-Aid is underrated!  And here is the miraculous part, you add the Kool-aid to the hot water, dissolve it, add the wool, let it sit til cool, and when you go back to take out the wool, the water is clear (whisper ‘its like magic’)…and your wool is brilliantly colored.  I made Orange Orange, and Blue Raspberry and several others.

Rit dye does OK, but it doesn’t do the clear water trick, and its harder on the wool- feels more like your hair when you bleach it or dye it too much…sort of damaged.

And so i have all of these awesome colors of wool! While they were drying, i visited them, held them next to one another, matched them up and fawned over them.

And you know what? I don’t want to be Girl With A Sword anymore… I like my stuff better, and my colors are more me…that is inspiration from another, when you are moved to get up off of your butt and create something…even if you want (dant-duh-DA) to be someone else for a moment…in the end, if you are you again, its OK 🙂

PS…how’d you like that message in a bottle quote? Did you see how i did that? 🙂

Top Clicks

  • None