Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Little Things...

Above is a blessed new addition to our home -- a water dispenser. Now one may wonder why I would consider such a thing "blessed," and you have cause to be mildly concerned. Our tap water is fine, but Hubby hates the taste of it, so rather than buy billions of cursed little water bottles (that inevitably end up all over the house, half-drunk), we decided to buy big water bottles that stay put! It's worked beautifully! But the real -- and unexpected -- bonus was...oh...wait...we need some back story first... case you don't know, anyone who knows me knows that me and that character trait called "patience" are mutually exclusive. I...well...I simply don't have any. Instant gratification. Instant results. Nanoseconds are too long. One would think I'd have piles of it, considering the kind of work that I do, but really -- it's why I work in acrylics and color pencil (instantly dry!) and epoxy clay (work fast!). It's why treats, such as chocolate, don't last five minutes with me, though Hubby can make his chocolate bar last all week -- unbearable! That's eons! How is that even possible?! Is he living in a time dilation field?! Hubby calls me "Veruca Salt" when my impatience begins to show..."Now! Now! Now!"...which tends to happen quite a bit when my Mac works "too slow." Now granted -- anyone else would say my computer is lightening fast, but that's still not fast enough for me. To me, the speed of light is the lower end of my expectation.

So, with that in mind, I love green tea. I drink it every evening. Yet it was always a kind of excruciating torture, too -- waiting (ugh -- waiting!) for the water to boil in the kettle took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. And when you drank your kettle, you had to do it all over again. One might as well wait for the continents to shift! So I started to heat my water in the microwave -- still to long. A whopping 1.30 minutes! Argh! It was totally unacceptable, but I had to live with it.

But blessed be! -- this divine water dispenser has an automatic hot water nozzle. YES. INSTANT HOT WATER. INSTANTLY. IN AN INSTANT. As in NOW. To say I was thrilled at this discovery is like saying rats and horses like food. And so a new peace has descended on our household as I'm able to INSTANTLY steep my green tea. Now to figure out how to get it to steep FASTER....

Anyway...given this character flaw of mine, you now might wonder why I'm dabbling in ceramics, especially "fiddly" ceramics such as realistic horse sculptures. The way I see it, ceramics came into my life for a reason -- to teach me the meaning and value of patience. You can't rush anything about the medium since it works in its own time and on its own terms. So it's not only been a learning curve with new skills and materials, but in learning a new life lesson.

And it hasn't been an easy lesson.

The one "quick" thing about it, though, are claybody customs -- when you alter the casting in its greenware (unfired) state to create a one-of-a-kind piece. Now THIS is instant gratification! That's what I'm talking about, baby! Which is perhaps why claybodying is my favorite aspect of this material. are some claybody customs I created recently:

Claybody Brownie, destined to be glazed by Joan Berkwitz.

Claybody Brownie, destined to be glazed by Lesli Kathman.
(You can see how Brownie originally looked here.)

Claybody Limerick (I think -- I can't remember), destined to be glazed and live with me -- the first horse I've created for myself in over ten years! You can see more pix of him here. I think I'm going to glaze him a few-spot varnish roan. If I can build up the courage.

And finally -- a bisque Bjorn! After all the false starts and mistakes...

When Sonya was here during JuneFest, she claybodied one of her fun Bjorn medallions:

It really is amazing how a new doo can change the piece!

And I also got a chance to claybody a Bjorn, too -- although far more extensively cuz well...I get carried away. The clay works so well for resculpting!

I'm going to glaze this piece myself, though I don't know what color yet. Very nervous about it!

I also was able to glaze a couple of Bjorns, too -- all by myself, with no hand-holding from Joanie or Lesli!

This guy is going to live with Joanie.

This guy is going to live with Lesli.
And you can see another pic of each here.

Aaaaaand...unexpectedly...I made some first timid steps back into my studio today. Starting to feel a rekindling of creativity. Ironically enough, it began to smolder as I worked on the images for an article I wrote for the Summer 09 issue of The Boat, the RESS newsletter, about painting conventions. I was using images of my older paintjobs to illustrate certain points and using images of real horses as examples -- when all of a sudden, I got the urge to paint and sculpt again. So meekly I stepped into my studio, grabbed the Haffie mare, did some dremeling on her, and I'm about to lay down some epoxy for some finishing touches. So here's another sneek peek:

She's still wet from her post-dremel bath!

While I'm still behind schedule with her, the mere fact that I picked her up today is nothing short of a small miracle. Just another "proof" to me that the benefits of writing articles and editing The Boat isn't such a selfless endeavor! I've been so off my game this year -- struggling with things I shouldn't be struggling with, whether in the studio, the office or just life in general. I've been a stranger in my own skin. But now, I seem to feel myself coming back, creeping back from some outer orbit as if to say, "Now, it's time."

"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning..." ~ Joseph Priestley

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