Tag Archives: sculpting

Low-key plans over Canadian Thanksgiving

This week I moved forward, I’m happy to say! Jane Street Clayworks is now an approved business name. In addition, the business is now registered in B.C. and my license is being processed. That’s the good news and it is indeed sweet to hear. I still have plenty to do: the site changeover and site redirect. I will also start working on a pine cone tile design tomorrow. I saw some lovely copper tooled versions and want to make some tiles with that motif. We have a shore pine in front of our house and I might go with that type. They’re long, slender, and smallish. I remember the enormous pine cones I once got in the Yosemite area. I have one in our office still. Gee, it’s enormous. It’s a three-day weekend here and everyone’s getting in a holiday mood. Canadian Thanksgiving is on Monday. I actually have not planned a big dinner and we won’t be having turkey. It’ll be a two-person affair; low-key. Will do some fall clean-up, especially around the tall grasses, ferns and garden. Later, in November, we’ll be heading down to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in ages. I’ll get my cranberry sauce fix then. It doesn’t mean the Spirit of Thanksgiving will be missing from our home, though. We have plenty to be thankful for and I acknowledge the many ways we’ve been blessed.

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Draped and folded porcelain

I’m thinking of making some draped or folded porcelain vessels to replace slipcast flower pots. All but one of my African violets are in the wrong kind of pot. They need two-piece nesting vessels, the outer one glazed, the inner one unglazed. Water is poured into the outer bowl and the moisture leaches through the porous middle pot to the plant roots. I want the vessels to have a somewhat constrained, yet haphazard feel…to combine sculpture with function. I looked at some pieces by artists that are shown online. Some of the techniques used wouldn’t be appropriate for my purposes, but I’d like to use a folded, paddled form, something similar to the piece shown above. An elegant vessel by Mary Rogers, it is called Folded Porcelain Bowl. From Derbyshire, England, Rogers’ work is incredible and I’d like to feature her at some point. Some of her pieces have a marine biological feel, which also appeals to me. Next, I found Carol Barclay, a Rochester, New York artist who drapes porcelain. Drape molds are available commercially at this U.S. art supply store, but you could make your own with plaster, too. Here’s a link for rectangular wooden drape molds from Tucker’s Pottery Supplies online store in Ontario, Canada. Barclay’s “Gathering Bowl” is quite nice. I think I like hers best as sculptural forms only because I can then concentrate on the draping. Finally, some folded porcelain vessels that have a more clean-edged, modern appeal. By Danish designer Karin Blach Nielsen, these delicate pieces called “Snack Bowls” are made from molds made of folded paper. I like the asymmetry. Blech Nielsen creates dinner sets and one-off pieces of porcelain and stoneware. Here’s a link to a serving dish with a filigree pattern.

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Rollo May’s “The Nature of Creativity,” Part 2

Existentialist psychologist Rollo May discusses the creative process in his work, The Nature of Creativity. Previously, I covered May’s definition of creativity and if you haven’t seen that post, you can find it here.  —  “Let us now inquire into the nature of the creative process, and seek our answers by trying to describe as accurately as possible what actually happens in individuals at the moment of the creative act,” writes May. “I shall speak mostly about artists because I know them, have worked with them, and, to some extent, am one myself. This does not mean that I underestimate creativity in other activities.” May said that the first thing you notice in a creative act is that it is “an encounter.”
 Artists encounter a scene they intend to paint, for instance; they become absorbed in it.
 The encounter for abstract painters might be “an idea,
 an inner vision.” The materials, paint, canvas, etc., “become a secondary part” of the encounter. “They are the language of it, the media.” The encounter, May explains, can involve will power, but the main point isn’t the “presence or absence of voluntary effort, but the degree of absorption, the degree of intensity.” May further explains that there must be “a specific quality of engagement.” He goes on to talk about the distinction between “pseudo,
 escapist creativity” and genuine creativity. The former lacks encounter, he said. A patient of his exemplified this: The man was very talented and would become inspired to write, but “would stop there, writing down nothing at all.” May said the “vital link of experience…was missing” and, therefore, “the encounter was lacking.” He continued, saying that with escapist creativity, not only is there no encounter, there is “no engagement with reality.” In addition, he said, “the concept of encounter also enables us to make clearer the 
important distinction between talent and creativity.” Talent may be inherited and might or might not be used. “But creativity
 can be seen only in the act.”  Further, he claims that purists, instead of referring to creative people, would refer, instead, to a “creative act.” With Pablo Picasso, there was great talent and “great encounter” which resulted in “great creativity.” Of F. Scott Fitzgerald, May said he had great talent, but “
truncated creativity.” A very creative person might seem to have little talent, he said, citing the novelist Thomas Wolfe. “But he was so creative because he threw himself so
 completely into his material and the challenge of saying it—he was great 
because of the intensity of his encounter.”

(Next, the “Intensity of the Encounter.”)

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