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…

how to begin.

the only joy in the world is to begin…~ Cesare Pavese

beginning…i have trouble beginning.  Of all of the creative parts of a project, beginning is the toughest part for me.  I can go thru preparations, gathering, mulling, but the actual STARTING…that sticks me.

Once i start, its gravy.  I can see all the things that work and don’t work, what falls apart, what worked better in my head, what LOOKED better in my head, and it is energizing to actually SEE in a concrete sense what i have been seeing in my head, what i have been theorizing.

So how can you get yourself to START?

Here it is- step by step

1. Put your hands on your sketch or if you have no sketch, close your eyes and picture your finished project in your head.

2. Gather your materials and put within reach in your work space.

3. Picture your finished project in your head.

4. Deep breath…reach up high, and reach down and touch your toes.

5. Picture your finished project in your head.

6. Pick up each of your materials and put them each down.  Do this several times.

7. Picture your finished project in your head.

8. Put everything away for the day and go for a drive…just kidding 🙂

Actually, this is the sticking point- do it! Put pen to paper, start writing, or pick up your paint brush, or put the clay in your hand – but it is time to try to make what is in your hand match what is in your head…

and here is the deal…if this project was going to go easy, you would have already done it- so be prepared for 2 or 3 or 27 false starts or practice/trial runs…in fact, try to figure out how NOT to make it work first- trying the beautiful floaty, ethereal idea you have in your head first may be what is stopping you flat.  So test your ideas out on trials first and see how it goes.  Get those out of the way!  Don’t even attempt to make the first thing you try the Golden Finished Product.

I have, at times, been paralyzed by the fact that i only had enough of a certain material…i didn’t want to waste it if the project didn’t go right, so i just didn’t begin.  In this situation, practice with a lesser equivalent of your coveted material, or pull it out of your project- its a problem.

once you know what will work and what won’t, that beautiful floaty ethereal idea in your head will begin to take on concrete dimensions in your head, AND in your workspace.

Go forth and conquer!

don’t let the technical monsters eat the creativity!

Coolest Commercial EVER!!

i had a brilliant sculpture professor in college- Lynn Carlsgaard- there in the middle of the photo, with the apron on.  He had a passion for bronze casting, but that never stopped him from offering instruction, assistance or direction in any creative direction to anyone who had a question.  He has a raucous sense of humor, and made me laugh in a way that made me put my hand over my mouth, because i felt it was probably not OK to laugh, but he was so funny…in an off limits sort of way.   One thing that he said, that i have said over and over to others, that i mutter to myself when i am mulling a project that seems technically overwhelming…those projects i can see in my head, but can’t figure out how its going to hold together in a concrete sense.  He said to never let the technical issues get in the way of the creative process…he probably didn’t say it that way- he probably laughed “heh heh heh” and said, “Patti, figure out the technical later, keep going with what you got right now” (I went by Patti for the first semester in college- thought it was a cool thing…it wasn’t.)

that concept has helped me over and over- that the vision of a project, if its strong for you, if you can see it clearly- it can carry you thru the technical struggles that make that vision seem impossible.  Carry thru the drawing, the gathering of materials, the obsession with a finished idea in your head, and START! You have to play with things, find out things that don’t work, so you can get thru that stage to the “putting together” stage.

an amazing demonstration of that -persevering thru the technical forest- fell into my lap this week! Tom Eastburn, a potter that is in a neighboring town, put this youtube video on his Facebook…LOVED it and i wanted to share it with you!  Its actually an Asian commercial for a cellphone that has a wooden back, but the artist who had this vision…wow!  I think you will love it!  Am interested to hear what you think!

here is the link again! Coolest Commercial EVER!!

enjoy~

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