Here we are, three weeks in to the 100 Day Project with the Great Discontent. 21 rattles have been made and posted. They are starting to make it out of the bisque firing stage as well and I will be doing my first round of glazing some this week. 15 collages have been laid out and are waiting for stitching with the beginnings of many more.
Last week my biggest reflection was, In this process and embracing of the process as an experiment or exploration each day is somewhat of a new opportunity IF I let it be. I can change the aesthetic of a piece for the project any day. As I complete one piece I am inspired to create something else related. From 3d to 2d and then back again. What I didn't state is I am often bombarded with ideas to make pieces that are completely unrelated and I get nervous and wonder if I should...
I keep coming back to embracing this 100 days as a celebration of the process and leaving it at that. It won't necessarily be a fully cohesive body of work. There will be random items that might make me squeal with delight and want to return to, items that make others squeal with delight that inspire me to make more for them, or pieces that are created out of alignment with this overall celebration of process vs finished piece that downright suck(I smashed one this morning... It felt good.)
Somethings that happened this week with the project that have me excited...
My work flow is such that I don't throw a new rattle each day. I throw a few at a time during different times of the week (largely when I have my class or bench time at Wesleyan potters) and then I might tweak them or embellish them on different days. Not being able to work there every day can be challenging as I can not always trim them when it is best for the pieces. I also am finding I kind of hate trimming these rattles on the wheel as they are all various sizes and slightly different shapes. All of these circumstances led to me hand trimming a few rattles late last week.
The hand trimming in and of itself may or may not be important but what excites me is when I picked the first piece up to trim it I found a surprise landscape on the bottom surface. This happened on a second one too. I see big skies and clouds, sweeping plains with scrub brush. I decided to keep these and use some stains to further embellish them. I also carved the bottoms of two pieces last week which leads me to the inquiry I hope to spark in folks interacting with the rattles upon their completion which is, What lies beneath? What might not be immediately seen but is an important part of the work?
The other thing that occurred is I started making collages of rattles yet unmade. Until now I have been making the clay pieces and using them as a point of departure for the collage pieces. However, last Friday when I was teaching my mixed media class and we were playing with various collage techniques I realized I was collaging rattles not yet constructed.
Finally I constructed a few bigger pieces that I have until now. They are still drying and untrimmed so have not yet been shared but I can't wait to play with them.
I am feeling generally jazzed about it all!