Even though I spent most of my adult life as a homemaker, art has always been a passion of mine, Although most of my paintings are done in watercolor or pastels, I've also done many drawings in pencil or pen and ink. When my children began leaving the nest I discovered ceramics at the local community college and became a happy potter for several years.
Here I share my creations with you and hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy creating them.
I said to the lump of clay,
Let’s take a journey together
You and I.
In a neutral slump.
I plunked it onto the wheel
Vague visions in mind.
It sat there
Where shall we go?, I asked.
Where do you want us to go?, it replied.
Oh, onward and upward, I said.
I can’t go anywhere until I’m
Focused. Centered. Ready.
Neither can I, I thought.
I spin the wheel.
The heel of my hand in steady pressure against the clay,
Pushing it toward the center of motion,
Coning it up, then down, a few times
Does the trick.
The clay is centered.
But I’m not.
It’s harder to center myself.
I recall how long it took,
And with what frustration,
To teach my body and hands how to center clay.
Now I must center myself:
Clarify my vision,
Make a decision,
Picture an image,
Know where I want to go.
I’m the potter, the master, the creator.
“I am the potter, you are the clay”, I parody.
I picture a vase with a tall neck,
I’ve been wanting to make it, sometime;
Now is the time.
Something is pushing the heel of its hand on me,
On my mind, my spirit.
I’m slowly becoming directional.
My thumbs open the clay, forming the bottom;
My fingers draw up the side;
They have learned how to make a cylinder
From which a vase form can come.
My mind and fingers are partners:
Thin the walls evenly, gently;
Swell the belly, get a nice curve;
Collar in the neck, slowly
So the clay won’t buckle and rebel.
How tall should the neck be, how narrow?
Decisions. Judgement. Thinking.
Thinking through my fingers.
Thinking through my eyes.
Watching to see what the clay is thinking.
The wheel motion, the clay, my fingers,
The vision in my mind, all working together.
I am the potter. The creator. The decision-maker.
When is it finished?
When do I stop?
The clay doesn’t tell me. I have to decide ---
Now I must wait.
The clay must dry.
Another party, the air, must do its job -
Pull out the moisture.
I wait like the farmer watching his crops,
Waiting for the right moment of dryness,
To trim the pot,
Shape the foot.
Now I have the form, but it needs a face,
An outer decor to catch one’s eye.
Something that fits the form,
So the two are wed:
Form and decoration equalling pot.
I want to copy the Indians
But I want to be original.
It’s my pot.
How did the Indians decide?
They had traditions
And symbols meaningful to them.
How can I make them meaningful to me,
I paint some black stripes
And stand back for a look.
With tool in hand I make a first mark
In the leather-hard clay,
With fear and trembling;
A cut mark won’t erase.
There’s no turning back, only going on.
Pondering. Judging. Deciding.
How will it look - if?
A sigh of relief
When I see the pot begin to smile
And look happy.
I smile too.
We’re becoming real travel partners,
The pot and I.
But now you must go on alone, little pot.
You must undergo the metamorphosis
From clay to something else.
I surrender you to the earthly element of fire,
To be tested and refined and made strong
For the use for which you are intended.
My control is limited now.
You are in the hands of my maker.
Fire destroys some things,
But you are of a different stuff.
You have a whole new life to be gained.
How proud I am of you
When you come forth from the fire
With a new name.
You are now a lovely piece of ceramic!
Where did the clay go?
That is the beautiful mystery.
You are a new creation.
You are not even the vase I first envisioned.
The vision changed and altered in the making.
You changed it as you came to life.
You changed me.
We are both new,
With a stamp of our creators on us