December 2015

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a hard lesson

A few weeks ago, my youngest son showed me this video. Pretty cool.

That video brought me back to a sweet memory of the same son when he was about 4 years old. One of his favorite activities was to sit on the edge of the garden retaining wall and blow bubbles. On one occasion, after some time blowing, chasing and catching soapy bubbles, he came to me with a request. He wanted to color the bubbles. We discussed the possibility (or impossibility) – him insisting on paint for color and me suggesting food coloring (mom wins)

soap-bubbles_00245162

I mixed several drops of blue into the container and let loose the bubble maker. The bubbles were beautiful; glistening in the afternoon sun. But, not blue. He begged, ‘do more’. So, I added several drops of red to our blue solution to create a deep violet. Nope. No difference. They were just plain ol’ run of the mill bubbles. Oh the disappointment. My hasty dissertation on film color theory did nothing to reconcile the expectations of this 4 year old with the reality of the outcome (I’m pretty sure someone was ready for a nap about this time ::pick me::)

There are some natural laws that we cannot concede (unless you’re in space, because…well, NASA) You simply can’t color bubbles and then stretch the outer surface to just this side of it’s tensile limit and still see the color. We can’t have everything. That’s a hard lesson for a four year old (and any adult that believes like a four year old)

cups_180

~old design

I’ve been working on new forms and surface design since summer. Reclaimed a lot of clay. Wanting to be freer with the surfaces, I went about creating looser forms and playing with line. Just before the end of the semester, I unloaded a glaze with the last of the mugs of the old design, a couple smallish drawn tiles and a test piece with design elements I thought I wanted. Oh the disappointment.

This far into the process, I’ve come to that point where I have to compromise some of what I see in my head (no comments from the peanut gallery) with what I can actually do. And then, some elements that I thought I could carry over from the earlier work just need to be abandon altogether. The lines didn’t fit the surface that was too demanding for the glaze that was too delicate for the lines that didn’t fit the surface that didn’t…(you get it) Talk about expectations not meeting outcomes.

So, I asked myself what I have a passion for and (the ‘and’ is important) if I have the skill to execute that passion.

After living with my test piece for several days, I came to this conclusion: I’m more about the lines than the forms. I just really want a canvas to draw on.

I love to draw. I can do that.


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