Monday, April 23, 2012

Singing in the Now

I woke this morning to the sound of a very melodious bird singing as if in thanks to the good soaking rain we finally had this weekend. Since it's still too dark I couldn't see who issued forth the announcement of the dawn. There is so much song outside my window I was thinking I should mimic the life of a bird. Get up yawning, then singing, stretching my lungs, later stretching my body, then foraging for breakfast. The birds seem to be singing so joyously without thoughts of past or future, only singing in the now.

Hope you aren't getting tired of these carts. They're fun to make and a challenge to see if they'll make it through the making, drying, and firing. Clay is a challenge, a cooperation, and a competition, and that's why I keep working with clay even after the failures and losses.

Clay is a cooperation between the maker and the clay. A bit of give and take to bring the piece of pottery to it's final form. Clay is also a competition between the maker and themselves. I'm in a competition with myself on whether I can succeed in making a form from beginning to end. A competition on whether I can improve upon a form. I often wonder if I could ever be happy with one form. Could I then say I succeeded, that I won the competition with myself. Up to this point there are only a few forms I feel even close to saying that. Perhaps I'll take a personal inventory of those forms and see where that leads me.

I called this cart, which is drying in the cabinet, a big wheeled cart. Looking at it now I can see the wheels could be even bigger, rising all the way up the side of the cart. I have so many ideas for carts in shapes, colors, sizes, styles. Then there are the ideas of what they might carry, what I might add inside the cart. And of course all the other ideas about previous forms and up and coming new forms.

Will I get the clay to cooperate? Will I want to make more of the same? Will the form be successful in my mind's eye? But getting back to the birds, does it matter? I'll just keep making, just keep singing in the now with clay. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    Possibly what you outline here is the kind of battle, or competition with self, which all creative artists face. And, most likely, it will be on going for all time because you will probably never be totally satisfied with your work which, in turn, becomes the motivation to continue.

    A cart with huge wheels would be fun!

  2. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, you are so right, never truly satisfied, always striving for more, thank goodness there is no end though, as then I would be bored and not want to go further. Ha.

  3. Love your title and the idea behind it. Your flow of creative energy and ideas continues to amaze and inspire me.

  4. Hi Teresa, thanks, sometimes I think I have too many ideas and then sometimes I think I don't make enough of my ideas. today I think I don't make enough, must be Spring fever.

    Yes I was thinking about the birds this morning and wondering if they worried if they'd find an insect to eat or a drop of water to drink and I was thinking not - they probably don't they just have to live in the moment, then don't watch the weather to see if it's going to rain or if the stock market is going to dive, they just go about their daily lives as best as they can and I was thinking I need to live more like that, every moment to the fullest.

  5. Hi Linda:
    I like the idea of competition with oneself to improve upon a form.

  6. The idea of competing with ourselves is so true, it's our growth. Experimenting, testing the limits, trying to improve. I used to work for a company who had a core value of "we love to compete, we believe that completion brings out the best in us."

  7. Creatures really do live in the "now" don't they? We could all learn.

  8. I wish I had the time to take a ceramics class, because I would love to make my own dish ware.

  9. Hi Barbara, thanks, yes I was realizing that clay makes us think that way.

    Hi Lori, thanks, yes that's it, it's our growth, the trial and error and experimenting.

    Hi Patti, thanks, yes we could all learn from them.

    Hi Gigi, thanks, I've been working in clay for five years and I still don't have a cabinet full of my own stuff, lots of trial and error to get a set for sure. What style would you make?


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