Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Thinking Aloud

At a demonstration I did earlier this year, someone asked me what I thought about while I was coiling pots.
It took me aback somewhat. The usual questions are more straightforward. "What clay do you use?"
"How long have you been making pots?" and I have my ready answers.
I didn't know what to say. Was it the fact that coiling might be deadly boring and I planned the dinner menu whilst my hands worked on auto pilot?
Did stunning creative thoughts flash through my mind constantly?
Am I thinking where the heck did I put that kidney scraper, I will need it soon?
I think I said that I was totally immersed in what I was doing and left it like that.

We have a whole bunch of Christmas Fairs coming up soon. You apply for these things and say yes to others and suddenly the events stack up. There are certainly not enough smaller pots in stock to cater for the stocking filler market, which is what we usually end up selling in the run up to Christmas.
So it's been into the workshop making again after a bit of a lay off.
It takes an awful lot of small pots to fill my kiln.
An offer from Sue Mulroy to share her kiln came just at the right time. I suspect Sue has the same problem. She has an Olsen fast fire that has an appetite for pots that is insatiable. Sue is a thrower and makes domestic ware, even so, it's a lot of pots.

I have been making small bowls and I suddenly remembered the strange question posed earlier in the year and I found myself thinking about what I was thinking about.
I have the radio on mostly, but it's background noise and if you asked me what music had been on, I probably couldn't say exactly. Making pots slowly with coils is a bit like painting. Constantly thinking about the shape and wall thickness. Needs to be a bit fatter. No maybe a bit taller. Clays a bit soft need to rest this one to stiffen up. It's off centre I like that. Maybe push it over a bit more and leave the rim the way it is... and so on. Constantly asking questions. I think about how I might glaze it, where it might go in the kiln. Does it go right at the front to get the most fly ash or is it a quiet pot for further back.

Some times my mind would slip into revery and this was going to be THE pot. Alas it's short lived and the next one is going to be absolutely the best.

Pots drying in the Autumn Sun

So there you have it. Not a lot of Earth shattering thoughts really, but coiling pots is definitely not boring and you can't read a book whilst you do the simple bits.

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