Wednesday, September 17

My big baby

This little beauty is about 21" across. It's quite flat, the largest flattest thing I have thrown so far. I have thrown a 24" bowl, which is a little easier I think.

These are some wood molds I made today for shaping slabs over to make square plates.

My heat gun I bought the other day, which greatly improves my ability to throw something like a 21" platter.

One of my pots from my last firing.

I had a few responses to my last post, and I found my response becoming quite long (what a surprise) and so decided that I would reply as a post. I promise not to post anything else so serious for at least one day after this. I'm not trying to contradict anything anyone said, just to write down what it got me thinking of. I am particularly interested in the idea of living for the moment, or rather treating each moment like it could be your last. I think it's a nice concept, but in the long run difficult, not to mention depressing thinking that every moment could be your last! It's a lot of pressure to put on yourself in life, because there is so much that has to be done that we really don't want to do but has to be done. Maybe some people manage to pull that off but it would be pretty hard for me. I know if I treated each moment as if it were my last, I'd never work, never clean the toilet, etc. I certainly wouldn't be sitting here typing on this computer.

I think the more do-able and equally important thing to do is to be present in every moment. It's like that bumper sticker that says: I'd rather be here now. It's something to really think about. Most of us probably perform a lot of tasks all the while wishing we could be doing something else. when I find myself rushing through something, like dishes or whatever and my mind is scattered and I'm starting to feel anxious because I'm already thinking of what I need or want to do next, I try to mentally stop, and while not exactly enjoy doing dishes, at least experience doing dishes. You can find a little Zen that way. I should say as a disclaimer here, that I desperately need to take my own advice. I'm not exactly settled most of the time. But it's something to think about-what you would do differently if you knew for sure this was it. If you told me, and I knew it to be true, that I had three days left to live I would embrace my hearts desire. I would do what I needed to do to spend those three days at peace inside. But I have to live believing I have maybe 30 years left, and that's a whole different ballgame.


cynthia said...

This is a fantastically large platter - how much clay did you use?

I'm trying to practice being in the now myself. Sometimes my mind is racing with all I have to do (or at least think I have to do for the day) and when I do slow down and say, "I'm going to do the dishes and I won't think of anything else for a moment", I feel so much better and I don't break anything - bonus. Otherwise it's like living a constant adrenaline rush which isn't really all that fun when you're not actually jumping out of airplanes, but are simply grocery shopping, making dinner, supervising homework, and brushing your teeth.

Jen Mecca said...

I think your pots look very light-hearted!( Quick observation on my part.) You'll have to get yourself down here for workshop and I can be that fly on the wall to give you my full" work-up"! Ha!
I like your work...Jen

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Cynthia. I think I used an entire block of clay, so 24 lbs. about. I wedge it up into 3 about 8 lb. pieces and then center each one on top of the other. I hadn't thrown big in a while and the first two were really difficult. By the time I got to the last two it was pretty painless.

I can relate to that adrenaline. I sometimes catch myself in the shower, scrubbing like a speed-freak and I have to go whoa-what's rush here and slow down. Maybe we are just programmed as women that way?

Linda Starr said...

I thank goodness I found clay as I have always been rushing to do this or that all my life. The clay has a way of making me slow down, which is good.

Twenty-four pounds, that's amazing. I aspire to some day be able to do something like that.

Your wooden forms look so perfectly sanded and rounded on the edges, you are quite the wood worker, I am truly impressed.

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Jen-thanks-it's interesting how I think my work, and probably true for a lot of people, reflects my current state of mind in life. I really enjoy your work as well-I love the colors.

You can probably throw more now than you think Linda-give it a try. Centering is the hardest part really, and just break it down, center as much as you can, smooth and dry the top, then plop another piece down on top and do it again. Then just take your time. I throw really slow when I'm working big. Don't forget to use your forearm-I certainly don't press all that clay down with just my little old hand.

Linda Starr said...

Hi Deborah, thanks for your encouragement. I have found a new friend who is willing to coach me to improve my throwing. Anything over a medium bowl is beyond me, mainly because the past few years I had such fun and success with handbuilding I just concentrated my efforts there. However, I am determined to become more well rounded in clay and hope to progress as time goes by. The more I learn the more I appreciate ceramic artists like you who create such amazing pieces of art from clay.

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Linda. I'm sure it will eventually come to you. Some potters do focus only on handbuilding though, so no reason why you couldn't. Thanks for the compliment-although I'm not sure I deserve it quite yet.