Lately / Ceramics

During my month of transition from this phase of my life to the next new journey, I took a ceramics class up at Baltimore Clayworks.  I’ve always had an acute tactile awareness, which is partly why I’m so drawn to textiles and ceramics.  So I thought it would be good for me to learn the wheel at last.

This is part of a longer process for me of reclaiming a sense of belonging and freedom in visual art.  It’s so creatively enlivening to explore these second mediums — ceramics and drawing and film photography.  It adds a loosening and layering to my primary creative work in fiction.

Learning the pottery wheel wound up being particularly apt at this moment as I get ready for my research trip, which includes a study of Japanese ceramics.

And I love this little olive dish I made.  It’s being bisqued while I’m away, and when I come home in March, I’ll glaze it and send it downstairs to the kiln to be finished.

Ceramics Sale

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This weekend I finally made it over to Baltimore Clayworks’ annual Seconds Sale in Mt. Washington.  Some of the pieces were nearly flawless, clearly overstocks and donations.  But even the obvious seconds — misshapen, with drips of glaze — had an appealingly hand-wrought quality.  They offered a glimpse into process, a touchpoint.  Given that I always want to touch the pieces at ceramic exhibits, at this sale, I touched nearly everything.  It felt nice to move through that airy space, letting the ceramics’ shapes fill my hands, feeling that variety of heft and texture.

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If you haven’t been before, mark your calendars for next summer.  A fundraiser for Clayworks, the sale includes seconds, overstock, and pieces donated by its students.  And it includes lots of them.  Even on Saturday evening, well into the weekend-long event, there were still tables and shelves packed with great pieces.  This sale thrives on its stylistic variety and its (very) low price points.

I wish I’d made it back Sunday night for the end-of-weekend box sale.  It would have been great to pick up a couple more pieces.

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