The 100 Day Project- Clay Rattles, Day 1


A couple of months ago I got an excited text from my friend Cynthia Morris asking me if I was interested in undertaking #The100DayProject. Per the project website it is  "a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making. The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process."

I knew I was interested but how to choose what to do? The first and seemingly obvious choice was Story Circles. As time passed I started considering other options. Maybe stitching on canvases. Maybe small abstract works. Maybe 100 days of cups. So many choices. Sometimes when I was feeling completely delusional I thought why not undertake more than one action. A painting and a mug...

I had pretty much settled on doing 100 cups (teabowls, mugs) and was feeling quite excited by the choice. The forms I have been playing with and the purpose I set out to achieve in making them has been really fulfilling.

In making the recent cups I've realized that my work is about a two things. First and foremost it is about connection to myself and returning to my center when I create. It is the process of tapping in to something I can't fully name in the process but something that nourishes me on more than a physical level. Second the work, when I am lucky, is about creating a similar feeling of connection in those experiencing it. 

Painting a piece that makes the viewer stop and look. Excite their eyes to view a little longer. Making a little tea bowl to use for special moments(and guess what, they all are when we remember) to sip from and return to center, to self, as the textures and form of it wake up the hands it rests in. Creating anything that allows the viewer, or better yet, the participant, to experience something through interacting with the work.

Last week I was in the pottery studio throwing mugs when I suddenly remembered making rattles when I was in college. Svelte, sculptural forms thrown on the wheel, closed shut, with a little ball inside that would shake, rattle and roll when someone moved the finished piece. Pieces that required the participation of the viewer to fully come to life.

I knew immediately that was what I would make for the project. 100 Days of Clay Rattles.

In the coming days I will discuss all of the reasons rattles appeal to me. For today however I will answer the question a few people have asked so far, How did I decide on what I wanted to do?

I chose something that made me the most happy. I practically squeal with delight every time I am able to pick up a new form and here the movement inside. Delight was my guiding factor.

Follow along on instagram using #100daysofclayrattles for process and finished piece photos and here for occasional insights from the work.