In between my blog entries, (which are useful for me and I hope of some interest to you!) I’m STILL continuing to try and grasp the concepts of local geology, I’m STILL studying local maps, I’ve started to contact local clay industries to learn more about the clay that they use as well as familiarising myself with the periodic table to better understand the chemical properties of local minerals that I can potentially use as clay additions or glaze ingredients. My mind keeps wandering and I find myself thinking about what I’m actually going to make from the beautiful clay that I’m finding. I’m starting to feel that I need to put my books to one side now and pick up my lovely new sketchpad and start getting some ideas down. This is a bit premature as I haven’t thought about a point of inspiration yet, which is typically where I would begin designing a new body of work. I guess the clay is my point of inspiration. My typical way of working is going to need to adjust and my methodical mind is going to have to get messed up which isn’t a bad thing! So whilst I’m STILL applying my gorgeous slip onto upside down plaster moulds (I STILL haven’t made plaster bats yet!) these thoughts are going through my head:
What making technique am I going to use? What form is the pottery going to take? What size – massive or minute? Surface treatment – textured, smooth, decorated, glazed? Functional or non-functional? Representational, abstract, sculptural or literal? Why am I doing this? Will anyone buy my new work? Does it matter? Should I have followed my childhood dream of being be a Butlins Redcoat?!
… and then I realise that hours have gone by and I’m STILL pouring clay slip over the plaster ‘bats’, letting the moisture soak away, scraping off the soft clay with a rubber kidney, kneading it into balls [repeat to start]… How can I speed up this process, whizzing the clay up with a food processor helps, what else can I do? How did our ancestors do this – did they refine small amounts of clay at a time or was it done on an industrial level? I’m actually getting quite bored of this now! HELP!!!