Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a secret thing

Because I'm a master of procrastination, I made a new playlist for the secret thing I'm revising. It is thus:

Living Things by the Perennials (Joe wrote this song. It is very dear to my heart. He also wrote All I Need, which is further down that list and which he can sometimes be coaxed into singing to me. But I digress.)

And now I have to go get some actual work done...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

making glaze and taking names

This is my lacklustre attempt at documenting my very first glaze-making session.

Are you ready?


First, I got myself a muse. Exhibit A:

Then I did the following:

And then, because the Oxford English Dictionary just announced its word of the year, I couldn't resist:

The word of the year, in case you haven't heard, is "selfie".

Saturday, November 16, 2013

the six of cups

This is the Six of Cups. It symbolizes childhood and memories and nostalgia.

I was sitting at my writing desk today, going over and over something in my mind. There's a really important decision that I need to make. I’m usually pretty good at making decisions; for the most part, I’m the kind of person who knows what she wants to do and then does it. But this decision had me stuck.

So I sat at my desk, staring out the window, and reached for the unused tarot deck on the sill. I’ve never really been a believer in new age spirituality. (Are we still calling it that? I'm not sure.) For a significant period of my life, I was actually taught that tarot cards were evil - sad, I know. Anyways. I really only own this particular deck because the illustrations are gorgeous and I wanted to look at the pictures.

But as this decision loomed over me, I thought: Why not?

So I reached for the deck. I shuffled and cut. And then I drew a card: the Six of Cups.

I had no idea what that meant. But the moment I saw the image, I sat up and looked harder. Because of the tree, definitely. But more so because of the roots: prominent and important and vividly colourful.

It's hard to explain the significance of a tree (and one with emphasis on its roots) in this decision without launching into all the details - which I'm not at liberty to do. So you'll just have to trust me: this is a decision about trees and roots and rooted-ness. It's one that has to do with something that I left behind in the place where I grew up.
When I pulled out that card, I was definitely leaning in one direction. But after I pulled it, even as I resisted it, I knew I needed to go in the other direction. I needed to go back.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

i see fire

I started making my little brother mix CDs a few years ago in an attempt to "introduce" him to good music. Wow. Was I in for a surprise. Maybe it started out that way, but lately he's doing all the introducing. The last time I looked over my most recent writing playlist, more than half the songs there were recommended by him.

His most recent late night text referred me to this song by Ed Sheeran. It'll be on the upcoming Desolation of Smaug soundtrack. I'm kind of obsessed with it:

Little brothers are the best.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

a pair of pinch pots

There's something remarkable about pinching. It's the most basic way to shape clay, requiring no tools or equipment, just your finger and thumb. It's organic and whimsical and lacks pretension. It's just what I need today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. – Anne Frank

Yes to this. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

my hands are hungry

I've been on a hiatus from clay for over a year now. There were a lot of reasons for this. First of all, I moved and moving always takes such a toll on me. As silly as it sounds, I typically spend the year after a move recovering from said move. Second of all, vending. I was vending at a lot of shows. And while I love the vending circuit, it gets exhausting. It's long days and very little sleep, not to mention all the work that goes into preparing - all for something that may or may not be worth it in the end. Most of all, though, I felt bored and stale and stuck creatively. I felt like I was coasting on these tried and true designs. I felt stifled and lazy.

So I stepped back. I packed up my studio and moved. I took a job doing another one of my great loves - making bread. I didn't go near my wheel. I didn't cut any clay. I didn't dream up anything new.

And now, a year later, I find my hands are hungry. Maybe this is because I no longer get up at 3am and spend the next eight hours making bread (the process of making bread and making ceramics are actually quite similar). Or maybe this is because it's the first of November and Autumn has that way of bringing you back to yourself. Whatever the reason, I've been more vulnerable than usual lately. And then I came across this video of a potter whose work I adore (her name is Diana Fayt and you can see her work here). The video is nothing particularly special, really, but the glimpse into her studio, the brief moments watching her work, and just listening to her speak had me in tears. I was so moved by her.

So tomorrow I'm going to buy some new clay and then I'm going to bribe my little brother to help me unpack my studio. And then... who knows?