Monday, September 22, 2008
As I was driving to Ventura on my way to a ceramic workshop this past Friday, I found myself doing a lot of thinking and asking why to a lot of questions. Why am I drawn to clay. Why am I making ceramics? Why does it seem as though (to some) I am not interested in anything else besides clay? Why do I write this blog and read other clay blogs?
Why am I drawn to clay? There is something so soothing to the soul in working with clay. I see the economy in turmoil and I feel a tension around me. When everything doesn't feel quite right, clay seems right. Working in clay, talking about clay and sharing it with others feels right. Not just the physical part of working with clay, but the mental part too. Solving the problems of making various ceramic pieces, researching clay, slips, and glazes, and sharing with others feels right.
Why am I making ceramics? Many of the products in our society are disposable and machine or mass produced. I see functional ceramics as a more permanent form of a thoughtful and artistic, hand made utensil. I worry about the plastics much of our food comes in, is cooked in, is eaten from. Ceramics seems to be an answer to some of those worries. A safer mode to store, eat, and cook our food in. I also see ceramics as an affordable form of art. A way art and a handmade utensil can be brought into our everyday lives.
Why does it seem as though I am not interested in anything else besides clay right now? When I ask this question, I find I am thinking of and have an interest in many other things, but those thoughts and interests are reflected in my ceramics. I see beauty in the world around me. I want to see more beauty in the form of improvements to, and respect for, nature and the earth we live in. I want to see more beauty in the form of appreciation of and improvements to the human struggles of today. I have a desire to make beautiful and functional ceramics and strive to reflect the beauty I see around me in my ceramics. I hope my ceramics will perhaps touch the lives of others, which will in turn make others see beauty and want to create and support beauty in their lives.
Why do I write this blog and read other blogs, especially ceramics blogs? My ceramics blog helps me organize my thoughts about life, art, and working with clay, and documents my ceramics progression. My blog helps me connect with other artists and in particular to share and learn from other ceramic artists. Writing and reading blogs helps me connect with many people around the world I might never have had the opportunity to share and talk with. Ceramics and blogs are a wonderful way to share a sense of community about art, but also a way to share with the whole world as a community. I find ceramics and blogs exhilarating and beneficial in so many ways.
So I say, why not.