It was the first medium I felt really comfortable with. My year 12 folio was ceramics….
I’ve dabbled in it again at times over my years of teaching, but this year something changed for me. I picked up a lump of clay just for the feel of it. I had no end result in mind. It felt meditative – a total relaxation. As I pressed the clay together, worked it in my hands, made impressions with things from Nature – a form evolved – a vessel that reminded me of a female form – curves, neck and the stopper became a head.
It’s been with wonder as I look back on that day when ‘she’ became…. I’ve been tearful telling a friend about the formation of ‘her’… some healing has occurred. Whilst I have enjoyed making more since and adding to the family of vessels – the first one remains my favourite and important to me. Perhaps it symbolises that which has been filled, emptied and waiting to be filled again… and the marks on the outside tell a story… the pressures we yield to… ruminating but not sure…
What I love about clay is it’s plasticity in my hands. It’s own essence is apparent at all times – it’s texture and body. I feel the sensitivity in my fingers which gives me a connection I can’t seem to find with other media. She allows impressions from other things – the organic textures from Earth are immortalised in the surface just like eco-printing on fabric. It’s wholistic – clay from Earth herself.
And I look forward to developing a relationship with my own kiln sometime in the future (perhaps in a peaceful country setting!) – knowing about the baking and working on the permanence – and accepting the impermanence and imperfection when pieces break…. the accepting …. and letting go….