Sunday, 30 December 2012

Messages in a Bottle

Decided to make a big bottle; it takes three days. Two days making, one day refining the shape with beating and scraping to bring up the texture. That's not three days solid, more like bursts of activity between waiting for the clay to stiffen, otherwise the bottle turns into a pancake. Anyway I need a block of time with no interruptions as I hate wrapping in plastic and leaving the bottle to return some time later.

You lose the groove and the muse is gone.

That came from Neil Young, I've been reading his book Waging Heavy Peace. Making music involves lots of people; engineers, technicians, producers and the collaboration of other musicians to get to the stage of even making an album.
Waging Heavy Peace is a sort of auto biography written on the hoof in no sort of chronological order. A bit like this blog. Thoughts and memories of a musical life spanning over forty years. The list of names mentioned is like going through the yellow pages of music making, the songs we all know are the products of input from many, many people, sources and locations.

Making pots is the complete opposite. It's a solitary path we tread, the thoughts go no further than our heads and nearly all my pots have been made in the same workshop working alone.

I was starting to imagine as I was alternating between making and reading, that in the process of building my big bottle, that my thoughts and ideas were getting trapped in each coil as they are placed one on top of another. Then sealed in as the coils are blended together. Like a three dimensional vinyl album; only made of clay. Firing finally seals in the whole complete thought process and the pot becomes a unique and permanent recording of the whole process. A physical and cerebral manifestation.

What happens in my head is my own and very personal experience, but it it would be fun to see when people pick up my bottle and stroke their hand over the surface, if they pick up some of those trapped thoughts and ideas and enjoy a deeper understanding, not just of the beauty of the form and glazes, but something else.

Sorry no photographs, the batteries are flat in the trusty camera and Laura's mobile is a museum piece. Make calls, receive calls, send texts, sometimes there is no signal here either, so... 

If I sell this pot maybe I can buy an iPhone (or new batteries).