Sunday, February 6, 2011

Out of the Snow and Into the Studio

Got a wee bit of snow a few days ago...

Current sculpture in progress

This past week has kept me fairly focused in the studio. Yet another snow day allowed time to work on a new sculpture. This one, when finished, will reach over three feet tall and is quite hefty. Throwing and wedging the larger-than-usual clumps of clay left me fearing I had permanently damaged my stomach muscles, but a few days later all returned to normal, noting to myself that I better be a bit more careful next time!!!

Creating artwork is not always fun. Just like with any job, there are parts that you enjoy and there are parts that you despise. Not that I fully despise any part of working with clay, but there are definitely some things that are more "grunt work" than pleasurable. Wedging is always a source of discomfort. It is taxing on my shoulders and takes quite a bit of time to get all those unruly clumps and lumps back into a smooth, workable ball. With the current sculpture, I spent perhaps equal time researching and sketching as I did forming the structure. The part that I do love, though, is carving. This particular piece is carving-intensive so I was in all of my glory for a few hours while I toggled from tool to tool to get the look and feel of my vision. Now I wait (hope/pray) that it survives the kiln firing so that the next phase of the process may occur.

In between shoveling last week's storm, I spent hours holed-up in my "cave". Chris said to me that I must really have a passion for what I do when I am willing to spend several hours in a cold, damp, concreted space below the earth, and actually crave and enjoy it. I never thought of it like that before, but when you break it down, yeah, it is kinda strange.

Amazingly, I am comfortable in that space, engulfed in messy, dry clay dust and mounds. For someone who seeks the just-so feng shui feeling of a home space, it is kind of odd that I don't pay attention to the lack of "homeyness" in the basement. Maybe it has something to do with being in a space that is natural to clay; deep within the earthen underground. Or maybe I am just so enthralled by the project at hand that my peripheral vision ceases and I am completely zoned into the form that is before me.

I probably shouldn't try to hard to understand it all.

A bit of rain this morning sunk the snowy yard and has created a new ice rink. It's like last week's "Snowmageddon" never occurred. Chris narrowly averted the intense shoveling schedule, boasting of sunny skies and warm temps while taking his afternoon walk with his father in California. He somehow dodged all flight delays, once again, upon his return to Maine on Friday. Bello and I are glad to have him back home with us. Now, I'm just hoping for another massive snowstorm so that he may experience the endless shoveling as I did this past month. I wouldn't want him to feel left out of all the fun, afterall!

I have some things to tend to over the next two to three weeks and suspect that I will not have a chance to blog. If you don't see a post next time you check in, just keep checking back. All should return to the regular normally scheduled life routine by the end of the month.

Hope all you romantics out there have a memorable St. Valentine's Day! (or at least your fill of quality chocolate confections!!!!)