Clay, Water, Fire
I read somewhere that there are artists and there are creatives. The artist perfects their chosen medium becoming a master of their field, whilst the creative tries many different mediums and different types of art, using what they learn to inspire the next phase of their art. I definitely fall into this second group of people.
I love trying new things; several years ago I became fixated with clay. I watched the first series of The Great Pottery Throwdown and I was hooked. I even googled how much I could buy a kiln for and was mentally calculating how I could fit it in my little kitchen, or garden. I had a go at throwing a pot at a local workshop and was told my creation was ‘distinctive’. I was desperate to have my own wheel and was dreaming of selling pottery for a living!
The idea that you can dig clay from the earth, mould it with your bare hands then harden it with a fire made of twigs and leaves, appeals to my deep love of nature. I remember seeing a discovery of an ancient pot from some archaeological dig and the pot held a fingerprint. You could literally touch the marks a potter made thousands of years ago as he crafted this piece of clay into a vessel to hold his water or food. You could place your hands over his hands and bridge a gap centuries wide. Doesn’t that blow your mind and inspire you to try yourself?
I had a go at pit firing some pots at home in a tin dustbin. It wasn’t hugely successful and after a few attempts my inspiration subsided. However, it resurfaced again this year (third series of The Great Pottery Throwdown!) and I decided to try the pit-firing in a bbq. It was a much more successful attempt and I made a couple of bowls and little round stones that were just beautiful to hold. My experimenting led me to discover silver clay and that, lovely reader, is a whole other post to write about!
Have I inspired you to have a go? Let me know with a comment here or over on Facebook. I can’t wait to see what you create.
To buy materials take a look at my Resources and links information.