Pushing out of my comfort zone with art
Early last month my first solo exhibition was confirmed, and I've spent the past 5 to 6 weeks focusing on my three-month making commitment - so I will have everything made in time.
During these past weeks I have stepped very much out of my comfort zone.
It started with a couple of very large coil pots - that will become garden pots for garden plants - that's when my cat isn't hanging out in them! :D
From here I have been creating several pieces that are even more ambitious - and ones I have attempted to make for a very long time. Like this table water feature. I don't know how many years I've thought, and even partially planned such a creation - only to be confused and not proceed. This time, however, I did it!... and it works!
From this table top water feature, to outside water fountains (in progress currently). I've also made a bird bath, and am currently attempting my very first large eagle sculpture - which will be in 2 x parts.
It's now all made (see below), however it is much taller than my kiln space (I made it like this on purpose), so I have to figure out the best way to cut, and then have both pieces fit back together again afterwards... clay shrinks and warps... so I am scratching my head on this one for now, so am researching!
These things may appear easy, and they certainly partly look this way when completed, however they take a lot of thought, planning and clay management.
I have never been one to shy away from art challenges. I've been doing so for years with my drawings, however there is really only so far you can challenge yourself with a 2D visual arts piece..... clay is ultra versatile and is the rewarding challenge I crave.
Challenging myself - drives me.
HOW I START THE VERY LARGE OR COMPLEX PIECES:
For the very large pieces I certainly sketch my ideas out in my ceramic diary, and then I consider HOW I might go about making it.
There are so many different options with hand building - from making pinch pots, coils, press moulds or slabs. And every potter may go about making the same sort of piece differently.
I recently made several large bowl moulds out of clay, which I've found very helpful to start the forming of large pieces - and my sphere shaped owls and sculptural pieces - like this one below sitting on top of my outer water feature - the top tier.
After I have sketched my rough idea, and have considered the possible best way to go about making it, then I may make a maquette (a small scale model) to help me get my brain around the form and shape. This is not needed for all, but some.
Sometimes I will seek advice from an expert and I've had great support, especially with little technical things, from a local experienced ceramicist lately.
Then I make....
Pushing out of my comfort zone with ceramics, is helping me to be able to push out of my comfort zone in life. To push out of that zone is where I grow and thrive best. My days become filled with challenges to overcome, and problems to solve, and many great end results to celebrate.
Focusing on my solo exhibition has been a great incentive to try these new things.
I want to create things I've never made before, and I am enjoying the fact that I can make some outdoor sculptural pieces - which will suit the exhibition setting so well.
There is still a lot to do, and many of the pieces pictured here still need to be finished with firing and glazing. However I feel incredibly proud of myself and my constant pushing out and pushing forward.
NEWS - WHAT'S COMING UP SOON?
Thank you for reading and connecting. What do you do to push yourself out of your comfort zone?