Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Beautiful Wild Animal

Since I planned to braid the handle I rolled the coils thin so the handle wouldn't be too thick. But I might have made them a little too thin for the size of these two mugs. This could be a tumbler without the handle and a little more symmetrical then. I can just imagine how this texture would feel in the hand; nice to grip too. A thin translucent glaze would do well here, wonder what I can use?

I wish I'd gone deeper with this texture. Looking at the pucker near the bottom I can envision a few rows of puckers going up this one. There's always room for improvement; there's always one more idea I can think of; and there's always one more idea just around the corner. Today I feel like there's a new form slightly veiled from my minds eye waiting to come forth, waiting for me to pull back the veil and coax it from it's hiding place.

I'm really learning how to work with this macabee stoneware. It's real soft and stays soft for a long time while I work it and work with it. You know clay is a bit like a wild animal, a beautiful wild animal. You can never really tame it completely, nor would you want to, at least I wouldn't want to. Taming it would remove all the beauty from it.

I can talk to it softly, gently, firmly, sometimes roughly. A few smacks on clay isn't a bad thing. I feed it with my hand, a tool, a sponge, a little water, some slip, an underglaze, a glaze. I warm it up with a firing. Then I let it go into the world, happy to have learned something from it, happy to have known it. But it's an ever multiplying wild animal. I go back to feed the next one, to learn about the next one, happy to get to know it, happy to let it go.

If there ever was a story about me and my life, it's this one, and there's one other which happened fifty years ago, The Thicket. If you get a chance, please read it. I'm sixty one years old but I'm really a very curious child. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    Promise that you will never fully grow up. How dull that would be.

    We LOVE the plaited handles to the mugs - extraordinary beautiful - as well as the textured surfaces all in that wonderful cream coloured ware.

  2. Love the mug and the bird is precious.

  3. I enjoyed "The Thicket" before but perhaps more so today as I know you better and can see the parallels more clearly. Well done.

  4. Isn't it funny how we are always critiquing our work and thinking about ways to make it better.
    I think the people who grip their mugs in their hands will really like these textures.

  5. Loving the mugs. I like how you keep evaluating what you do and then change it up with the next piece. It keeps it fresh and thoughtful.
    It is a Japanese belief (or at least my mother's) that at age 60 one becomes a baby again and begins another life. So you are young at heart!

  6. Linda, your mugs are so beautiful!! If you ever want to do a trade, let me know.

  7. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, I don't think there is any danger of my growing up now. Ha. This cream ware may change as it is in it's green state right now.

    Hi Helen, thanks so much, the bird comes to visit the window every day now.

    Hi Patti, thanks, it is funny how these things come full circle.

    Hi Lori, thanks, well since I am making so many mugs I might as well critique each one to perhaps get a few to settle upon.

    Hi Charlene, thanks about the mugs, I like your mother's belief or maybe I don't; ha; I am sure my Gary will get a laugh out of it.

    Hi Miz Katie, thanks, I would love to do a trade, but I am sure your art work is worth much more than one of my mugs would be. Hopefully after these are fired I will have some suitable for a trade. But it will be a while before they are ready to fire.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment