Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Filling up the kiln... firing up the kids

I can't think of many things that I wouldn't put in the "favorite" category when it comes to my art. Filling up the kiln is one of my many favorites.

I usually start out just making things with no thought to what will fit in the kiln. When I've filled up a few of my "to be fired" shelves, my mind starts clicking into "what will fit" mode IF I'm working toward a show. The "if" is important 'cause when I'm in pure creative, no deadline mode, who gives a rip what will fit in the kiln? I just go and go until I can't put anything else on the to be fired shelves and then start trying to figure out how to get stuff in the kiln.

Either mode, I love filling up the kiln for the initial bisque fire. It's like sending kids off to high school. You've raised them, sweated with them, put all your creative energy into getting them ready for the big move and now it's time to see what happens when they're tested.

The glaze firing is college. You've put your final touches, done the best you can do and now they're off, ready for the final test. Hopefully they're ready for the big world, all on their own.

Just like some of our best efforts in raising children, sometimes what comes out of the kiln isn't exactly what you'd hoped to get given all your best efforts. Luckily in many cases you can re-glaze and re-fire the pieces. Not necessarily so with many children as they're truly on their own when they leave college and resist any tampering from their parents. However, as I'm one of those who didn't come out of college quite perfect, there is hope for many of the children who don't initially live up to YOUR expectations ;-)

Hah, another analogy --- some of the pieces that I haven't particularly been pleased with after they come out of the kiln have been grabbed as favorites by others. Just because I didn't think they met my standards or expectations didn't mean there wasn't value and they weren't just what they were meant to be. Ditto with our kids. It's a great big beautiful world and everyone isn't going to walk the walk we might choose for them. Yep, you can take that one and twirl it around in your mind for a bit to come up with better ways to tie pottery and clay to raising kids. I'm done with that thread!

I do have a tendency to meander from one topic to the next, don't I? Here I am thinking about that full kiln load out in my studio, wanting to share my enthusiasm about closing the lid and firing it up, and somehow I'm off on raising kids. They can both be fun, rewarding and trying at times.

Of course, when the kids drive you nuts, you can always find an excuse to head to the studio and pound some clay!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting, much appreciate comments and readership! Wanted to let you know that we will not post any comments with links, just makes our lives easier and safer. Likewise, if you're not nice (as in family friendly), no one will ever see the comments.