Monday, August 16, 2010

Roundish

If I used one, I'd say it was back to the drawing board! But in my case it's back to the wheel. Actually I've already updated my excursion into the world of the really round. If you missed it during my barrage of blogging yesterday, click here to review.

What I take away from this exercise in round is something that comes up again and again, for me. The potter's game of shape is infinitely subtle. Well, maybe not infinitely, but it's pretty darn subtle. Am I really seeing the pot as it spins on the wheel, in all of its dimensions, or am I fantasizing it's shape? With such a familiar shape as the sphere there's no fooling. How can it be that as I initially was turning these pots, that I saw them as round? Maybe the little necks "threw" me off? Maybe I should have stepped back and taken a longer look at them?

I think it's just a matter of calibration. Calibrating the eyes. Last year (or maybe two) when I first donned my new progressive lenses (read: trifocals) for reading, my world really moved around as I looked at it. If you're not familiar, these lenses correct not only my nearsightedness, but also correct vision for the close and the very close. Supposedly your brain sorts things out as your eyes move through these zones in the glasses. [See the image below, "borrowed" from this website, where there is a better description of progressive lenses.]


Anyway, the profiles of the pots I was making would shift as I turned my head. This made it difficult to calibrate. I would switch back to my regular glasses, but that was tricky as well. My eyes would have to readjust each time I switched. So I ended up getting used to the "progressive" lenses and after a while my feeble brain made the necessary adjustments.

Well, this is a lot more than I planned on saying about vision. It may sound like I'm making for excuses for not being able to make round shapes. But these are just some thoughts that came to mind when I began talking about looking/seeing. I could go on about seeing, really seeing, but that might have to be another post. Somebody has to check the pots (and the sculpture! ;-))

Until then...