Yarn Bowls and the Happy Accident November 20 2015
This is MEG the cat who is kind of my studio manager because she is always in the studio, watching me do everything. She is the inspiration for the KITTY CAT YARN bowl which has become a super hot selling item? Yikes! Who would have guessed that after 6 years in pottery college and grad school, plus thirty PLUS years of making pottery. . .I would find myself making almost 150 of both these yarn bowls a WEEK. Yes, the holidays are coming and it is a great gift for knitters and crochet-ers but even Meg is thoroughly exhausted by the whole thing. Ha.
I actually get into a really cool rhythm when I glaze these yarn bowls and it might be something like what happens to runners when they go on and on, running miles and miles. There is a spiritual, mystical rhythm and little variations and surprises happen when you "run the same route" again and again.
My co-worker/potter for 25 years, Augusto, from Peru, (very long story for another time) taught me so much about the beauty and discovery found in what others call: repetitive work. Calling it "repetitive work" is kind of pejorative so I would rather call it "the peace of pottery". I gravitate toward the peaceful making of pottery, clay, glazes, firing ESPECIALLY when the world outside is going mad/crazy like in the Middle East. . .I turn off the news on the tv and putter around my studio. Very peaceful. The puttering potter?
The happy accident? This is something I used to talk to my students about when they would "freak out" when they felt like they made a so-called mistake on their art work. Turn it into something different. Out of the accident, you can find something different, often wonderful. So the Puttering Potter should Practice what she Preaches. Huh? Yes, when I dropped and broke the 105th yarn bowl AFTER it was all glazed, I thought could this be a happy accident? haha. It was so late at night I was looking at the colors and shapes and the GEOMETRY of the broken pieces and I decided to glaze a big bowl that had been sitting around my studio. Just glaze something at 2am that is not for an order and not for anybody. . .The geometry of the angles and the swish of the breaking and spilling seeped out of the corner of my brain and into my work yielding this Happy Accident: I was so happy to make this and it was a great firing. . .