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  • Writer's pictureRAG

Mishaps and Setbacks

My goal with this blog is to keep it all the way real. It should reflect my work and practice, which is very much about telling the truth about my emotions, thoughts, and pain. Not everything is about pain, but everything is created from a place of vulnerability. This is often uncomfortable, and perhaps even embarrassing. Even now I'm having trouble finding words because the nagging thought in the back of my mind is, "who cares?" It's one of those thoughts that feel small at first, but as you keep moving forward, it can slow you down. Then it grows and before you know it, it's towering over you. What do you do then? Push past it? Let it keep you where you are? I want to share what's on my mind, in my heart, but who cares? The work I make is really personal, but who cares? Who cares, indeed. It's quite interesting when you think about it. That nagging question can either keep you from doing something, or free you from every reason not to. I want to share what's on my mind, and in my heart, but I'm afraid those things are too strange. Who cares?! Constraining and liberating. Just like a lot of things that go wrong in life, it's all in how you look at it.

Dream Keeper is one of my favorite vessels so far. I loved it as I was building it. Then it became a form. Then I coated that form with terra sig and carved into it. Then I burnished it and loved the way it shined. I took my time with this piece. I even had a dream about how I could finish it. Then it finally came time to fire it. Ceramics is fickle. Sometimes the things you labor over, come out of the kiln perfect, and other times they explode and that's that. I knew the risks, but I got attached anyway. After the first firing a friend of mine who'd just unloaded the kiln came to me with sympathy on her face. My piece had been damaged. Somehow there were two puncture wounds on its backside and the base had exploded off of the piece. I was shocked and upset. Not with the messenger, but I wondered how it was handled going into the kiln, and I didn't know how I would fix it. I couldn't patch it, and adding a new base seemed like more trouble than I was willing to handle at the time. I sat with it for a bit and realized I kind of liked the scars. I painted them with black underglaze and hoped for the best as it went in for its second firing. The piece looked better without the base, and the jet black finish from the second firing made it look like satin. Who cares if a piece isn't perfect? It's not supposed to be. I made it, and I'm certainly not perfect. So, who cares? It's still quite lovely if you ask me.

Before I let you go, I have one more point to make. COVID-19 has been a beast. This pandemic has been one of the most stressful times in my life, and I'm sure for many others as well. I've been scared, worried, sleep-deprived, and all kinds of topsy-turvy. I've experienced quite a set back with no studio, no new work, and a lot of anxiety. In the midst of all of that, however, I've been able to connect with people I love, spend some time in quiet meditation, bake a few things, cook a few meals, play with play-doh, and write a few poems. I've been inspired to turn my inner turmoil into something beautiful. It's all in how you look at it.

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