Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Too Old to Surf . . .

                 Or What Can You Give Me For A Bad Case of Impatience?

It’s a few days after East Bay Open Studios and I’m still ruminating about my fate this year as opposed to last.  Last year at this time, I was riding on top of a creative high after setting up a thoroughly successful Open Studio.  Sales of my clay and collage work, commissions with deposits for new clay pieces and a very sizable deposit for what I thought would be a challenging but ultimately satisfying 2 dimensional triptych all gave me good reason to feel enthused and encouraged for months to come.  Little did I imagine that this 2009 creative wave would come crashing down onto a desolate shore beginning in 2010 when the large triptych commission fell through just at the point of having the preliminary sketch approved (see post: You Win Some and You Lose Some. . . )

It took a while to pick myself up, dry myself off, and get back to work. I caught a glimpse of a new wave rolling in when a second generous commission request came from my dear friend Scarlett. Could I create a clay vessel for her friend, Kate, who was just beginning the difficult journey of surviving and living beyond breast cancer? And could I do it in the black Cassius Basaltic clay? Absolutely! I decided to do several pieces at the same time and let Scarlett choose the one which ultimately spoke to her.  The largest of the four was the one I really thought would be IT but it didn’t make past the drying process. Stress cracks and cracks from uneven drying were its deathblow. It may have been the result of my being too impatient to get it finished. Also, on further inspection, I really didn’t like its overall shape. It felt less than elegant, too ‘clunky’ at the foot.

Here are the three that made the cut before the bisque fire:


And the one Scarlett chose:

I was just about to have them bisqued and begin working on more pieces in this vein, when I was struck down with this %$@#$@#! herniated disc in my lower neck.  As of May 7th, doctors’ orders are to cease and desist working in the studio until further notice.  They think it may be the repetitive way I hold and turn my head while working, which has worn down the disc. So here I am, in the middle of 2010 with no wave in sight. I am, thankfully, pain free but it’s the meds, which bring my relief.

Unfortunately, nothing relieves me from the feeling that time is rushing by leaving me behind waiting impatiently for the next creative wave. 

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