January 26, 2012

12 X 12 Revisited/Revised

Monday offers such promise, while Thursday reminds me of my shortcomings with Fridays verdict right around the corner. Not that I have ever operated on a regular 9-5 M-F schedule, but the mainstream routine sits on one of my shoulders, reminding.

Yesterday, as I was working on various projects in the bright sunshine, (read: not pottery), I had a yearning for some kind of routine, a daily goal. I remembered my 12x12. A concept that seems to have been forgotten like a dream. But it's not that hard to imagine that I could get back to a regular studio practice like that soon. It's almost February, after all! So while I was outside doing some long over fall maintenance on my mower, I had the thought that I would set my goals lower. Haha. Yes, a little lower, to avoid the self loathing that a Thursday might bring. So I decided since I had missed my 12x12 deadline(again) that I would try to just make a dozen, (ok, I made 16) and try to finish them today (Thurs).

I thought I would make a short run of cups, a few serving dishes, and some pitchers. It was a very different experience contrasted to making boards and boards of pots that would then take me a day or two to finish.

When making a dozen or more of one shape, each pot gets closer to the ideal and hopefully with the last ball of clay I make the best of the lot. That happens sometime. Sometimes, when revisiting a shape, the first one off the wheel is fresh and has a naïveté that seems more natural, with subsequent forms trying a bit too hard to be perfect. It's hard to explain. That first pot is imperfect by the mind's eye and I try harder with each redo. In the process, with each subsequent pot I become more self-conscious and sometimes squeeze the life out of them.

With these short runs of pots, I didn't get into that self conscious mode (as much). I wasn't thinking that I had 20 more to make and wasn't hoping that I would get a few really good ones. I was there with each one and then they were made. The cycle was shorter.

This is very difficult to explain, but my goal is to try to make 12-16 pots each morning and finish the pots from the day before after lunch. It's a slightly different model and will hopefully be steady and more manageable than table full of plastic.

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