Jump to content


Photo

Describe your LOVE affair with Clay | Feb. 13, 2012


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,173 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:38 AM

Valentine's Day ... and love is in the air, so lets talk about your love affair with clay!:rolleyes:
What is it for you ...
An addiction? Wild romance? Love/Hate? On again - off again? BFF? An 'Ex' that won't leave? An itch? A craving?
Be serious, funny, whimsical or whatever ... tell us what drew you in and keeps you going.

How would you describe your LOVE affair with Clay?




Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

https://www.facebook...88317932?ref=hl

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#2 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,812 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

It started in High School-I had no idea that it would become my whole working life. To this day I cannot say what about it grabbed me so hard.
I liked every part of the process-from low fire to molds to kiln building to glaze making-as the years went by some of that has slipped under the rug-now its high fire.
My fav. is still glaze and firing. Love affair does not do it justice.Its who I am-Its why I have this property (39years)-Clay has defined me more than I have with clay I feel.
Maybe it was a virus.
Or Like Michael Cardew said (I was not good at any other thing in art) which for me was true.
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#3 Denice

Denice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 670 posts
  • LocationWichita, Kansas

Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:47 PM

I fell in love with clay at a very young age my mother bought me a mosaic kit when I was 4 years old and from that point clay was it. When I am working in my studio I lose all sense of time I forget about eating and am totally exhausted and happy at the end of the day. When I throw on the wheel I get so relaxed I feel like I could melt into the clay if this isn't love I don't know what is. Denice

#4 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,018 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

Valentine's Day ... and love is in the air, so lets talk about your love affair with clay!:rolleyes:
What is it for you ...
An addiction? Wild romance? Love/Hate? On again - off again? BFF? An 'Ex' that won't leave? An itch? A craving?
Be serious, funny, whimsical or whatever ... tell us what drew you in and keeps you going.

How would you describe your LOVE affair with Clay?




I was always interested in Art all through the grade school years. Art then was mostly flatwork, however I did on occasion do the little ash tray etc. I kind of fell into Art Ed. and that was where I first got bitten by clay. I was in my fourth year of undergrad when I took my first class, and pretty much ignored other studios to put more time in Ceramics. First classes were uneventful even though I learned how to throw pretty well, and to pull a good handle. Once I started teaching I worked with the clay often, but didn't start teaching until two years later. Penn State grad courses got me deeper, but not as deep as I was still an Art Ed major. In the end most of my learning came from my thirst for more of the clay. My wife says my first wife demands more than she does, but she smiles when she says it!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#5 ayjay

ayjay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 297 posts
  • LocationHampshire, UK.

Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

My wife started going to a pottery evening class; for a couple of years she continued to bring home fairly horrible looking misshapen articles of pottery, I started to wonder how hard it could be to produce something reasonably smart looking with maybe some straight lines and regular curves where they might look better than the primitive look.

So I started going myself just to see how hard it could be and I really enjoyed it and I've continued to go ever since, (it's probably been about six years now).

As a carpenter by profession I just love the freedom of being being able to scrunch up a bad pot and start again, it doesn't happen with wood, once it's cut that's it. There's' a complete lack of tension for me in working with clay.

I still attend the evening class, it's run by a local college and is supposed to be structured but I think they've given up with our class - it's more of a social event now, we all still make pots but we also share a couple of bottles of wine and some nibbles for a couple of hours once a week and we have the occasional Raku session or maybe just a barbecue in someone's garden in summertime.

I have an old kiln (which I have to stop myself from experimenting with too often) and am searching for a wheel for home as I don't get enough practice throwing with just the one session a week.

Attached File  P1010076C.jpg   40.63KB   9 downloads
Attached File  P1010077R.jpg   76.43KB   9 downloads

#6 Ivar

Ivar

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • LocationZagreb, Croatia

Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:38 AM

20 years ago I finished elementary school and needed to decide what to do next, and what will I be "when I grow up". My grandfather was a carpenter and a mason, and type of a pearson who knows to do miracles with his hands. My father is that kind of pearson too, he was welder for 40 years, but also worked as a mason, made amazing things with wood, and he also used to paint. So I had it all in my blood.

I decided to go to School for applied art and design. My mother rolled her eyes, and was very much agains it, saying : you can not live from that. My father was very happy, but he was always supportive for me and my brothers, what ever we wanted to do in life. When I began education my first idea was to become a photgrapfer, and aftre that to go to Film Academy to study camera.

On first year in school I touched clay for first time, saw students working on wheels, handuilding etc...and after few months I said: this is it! This is done by hands, I get to create, express my ideas and I work with raw material with my hands. That is how it started. I forgot about photography and camera and spent 4 years learning and playing with clay.
When I work in studio I am like a child, playing, it makes me happy, when I open kiln after it has cooled down, I feel like a child opening christmas presents....so actually I never did grow up :)

#7 Karen B

Karen B

    Potter 1981-present

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 177 posts
  • LocationMassachusetts

Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:42 AM

It is my constant companion.

#8 SShirley

SShirley

    Cow Creek Pottery

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 199 posts
  • LocationPittsburg, Kansas

Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:08 AM

This is probably more than you asked for. I am 56 years old and have done a lot of things over the years, and most of it seems to have lead me to work in clay. I loved art as a kid, and out of high school wanted to go to art school but my parents thought it was a waste of time. So, I became a cop in the Air Force instead. After six years, a bad marriage and one son, I got out of the service and went to college on the GI Bill, studying graphic design. While going to college I worked as a cake decorator, which I loved, but always hated that it was so transitory. The "art" I worked so hard to create was eaten and gone in a matter of hours. In my first year of college I took a ceramics class as an elective and loved it. I only did hand building, as I tried the electric wheel once and thought it was too hard. Well, after college I became a manager of an art supply store, then a graphic designer at a sign shop. Later, I moved to a very small town to be with my wonderful new husband, and there were no graphics jobs to be had, so I got a job doing CAD drafting (which I taught myself).

A time came when I was going through a particularly heartbreaking and stressful time with my teenage son (drugs) and my husband suggested taking a class at the college to relieve stress. I chose ceramics. From the minute I walked in the door I was hooked. It felt like I had finally found what had been missing in my life. I planned to just do handbuilding, but the clay room had lots of kick wheels, which somehow seemed more manageable to me. I felt more in control of the process somehow and loved it. After a couple of semesters I built my own kick wheel and turned my garden shed into a studio. I searched the internet and books for everything I could find about clay, subscribed to all the clay magazines, went to workshops, and totally immersed myself in clay - while keeping my day job as a drafter. Eventually I outgrew my garden shed and moved into my half of the garage. Meanwhile, I developed arthritis in my knees and bought an electric wheel, and was surprised at how easy it was. Then, I moved into my husband's half of the garage. Soon after that, he decided it was time for me to get a real studio so he could park in the garage again. I bought a small old ratty building downtown and made a studio in the back with a small gallery. (The front of the building is a commercial rental space, which is currently rented to a mexican grocery store. That income pays almost all my bills in the studio, like electricity, gas, insurance and taxes.) I have two electric wheels and a big electric kiln. And in a corner of my gallery is a desk, from which I continue to do lots of drafting as a freelancer. I have a big open house event in December every year which is a lot of fun. The place is packed with people buying stuff, so I really like that. I'm planning to start having a second open house in the spring. I live in a very small town, so sales are not what they might be in a bigger city, but people are finding me more and more, and coming back again and again. So I'm happy with that. I do a couple of art fairs a year, but the older I get the harder that is. I like selling from the studio better. I keep meaning to try selling online, but can't seem to get that going. Maybe this year...

So, I have been in clay now for 19 years now. Several years ago some friends and I started a local potters group, so we could get together for lunch and network and that sort of stuff. It has grown to a full-fledged organization with 2 group shows/sales every year and this past year we did two juried gallery shows as well. I continue to take a continuing ed class at the college in Joplin, which gives me access to a gas kiln. All in all, it has been great so far. I'm hoping that this is something I can do for the rest of my life. I like learning new things and mastering new skills. I'm not a production potter and don't want to be. I go through about 1500 pounds of clay a year and that's plenty. I'll never be a famous potter, but that's OK. This is what I need to be doing right now, and I love it.

#9 Grace Pottery

Grace Pottery

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

Wow! I'm seeing some common threads here. My story is similar- parents thought I made beautiful things, but it's not a way to make a living, gave it up for years to get married and raise my kids and work at a "real" job. Over the years I would comment from time to time "I really loved working with clay. I would love to get back to it."
My husband suggested that I take a local wheel throwing class and I did and became consumed by the desire to make pots. I never get bored with the process because there are so many facets of it to explore. Making pottery is my "happy place"Posted Image Oh, and I am making a living at it.

#10 trina

trina

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 437 posts

Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

My love affair with clay goes something like this:

me: Clay I love you

Clay: silence

me: really I love you please I am begging you love me back

Clay: grunt

me: I LOVE YOU please...........

Clay: we'll see


and so it goes

#11 Idaho Potter

Idaho Potter

    Learning all the time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 399 posts
  • LocationBoise, Idaho

Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:11 PM

Mine started off as a marriage of convenience. My old bones no longer could tolerate stone carving and even wood carving was being affected, I had to find something that wouldn't be so hard on the body. I had always liked modeling in non-drying modeling clay, so started fooling around with ceramic clay and liked that even more. As long as I was already playing in the mud, thought why not take a pottery class. Haven't looked back since, so the affair is now true love.

I love everything to do with the forming of sculpture or pots, because squishing clay in my hands makes me happy. Happy to the point that it is sometimes difficult for me to move on to fire and glaze my work. Sometimes the clay gods are kind, and sometimes the clay devils inhabit my studio. I even like the fuggy smells that emanate from buckets of slop.

My fingernails may be too short for glamour, but it doesn't matter. I know I have a steady date available to me any time I'm in the mood. My sisters tease me that I'm still making mud pies but with a small difference--I don't eat them anymore.

#12 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, Montana State University-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,890 posts
  • Locationwhere Texas, Matamoros, Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico come together.

Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:59 AM


I have been involved in art all my life. family sent me to art school on Saturdays from age 11 on up through HS. I worked one summer at an ice cream parlor and loved sculpting in whipped cream. I began as a major in Industrial design but an elective in ceramics changed everything. My primary mentor in college was Bill Daley, famous for hand building, followed by Paula Winokur who taught us throwing. I have built many kilns from Boston, Philadelphia, Wyoming, Montana and Texas and love the firing but also throwing, hand building and making tools of the trade for my needs..like a right angle jig.
The fascination with clay has continued for 45+ years.

Marcia

#13 clayfolk

clayfolk

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

Valentine's Day ... and love is in the air, so lets talk about your love affair with clay!:rolleyes:
What is it for you ...
An addiction? Wild romance? Love/Hate? On again - off again? BFF? An 'Ex' that won't leave? An itch? A craving?
Be serious, funny, whimsical or whatever ... tell us what drew you in and keeps you going.

How would you describe your LOVE affair with Clay?






#14 clayfolk

clayfolk

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:23 PM

During the initial honeymoon period of centering and breathless infatuation, I remember saying, "Finally, something in my life I can control!" Then our relationship became one of time apart, wistful memories, longing, and multiple, brief re-encounters infused with my hope of establishing a daily, familiar habit of interaction and creation. Age and wisdom has taught me that I must see my love for what it is; a gentle, receptive and forgiving medium, always there to center me when I am ready, and through which I tell stories and make ideas visual.

#15 trina

trina

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 437 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:40 AM

During the initial honeymoon period of centering and breathless infatuation, I remember saying, "Finally, something in my life I can control!" Then our relationship became one of time apart, wistful memories, longing, and multiple, brief re-encounters infused with my hope of establishing a daily, familiar habit of interaction and creation. Age and wisdom has taught me that I must see my love for what it is; a gentle, receptive and forgiving medium, always there to center me when I am ready, and through which I tell stories and make ideas visual.



wow well said! Trina




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users