I’m a clay artist, but also a painter. I never fight with my clay, but I’ve fought with my paintings for years. Whatever your art or craft, these thoughts might encourage you.
I often struggle with all kinds of doubt and discouragement as an artist. I get overwhelmed and I can’t seem to get anything done. Getting out rock climbing has taught me a few things about flow.
For the first time ever, I’m seeing painting as flow. Just like my new understanding of rock climbing. You don’t fight with it, you make it yours. You don’t attack it, you live there. Yes, sometimes you fall, and yes, sometimes you’re too tired to go on. Sometimes you just can’t make it. But so what? Stop when you are done and then go back. Stronger this time. And smarter. It has become part of your muscle memory. But not because you’re striving, just because you’re there. Sometimes you keep going when you don’t think you can. Sometimes you make a crazy, risky, leap. Not because your striving but because, “why not”? No fear. Always, you focus on one move at a time. You always make one more move (like just squeezing the paint onto the palette, or conditioning a little ball of clay), even if it might be as far as you can go. Maybe, once you’re there, the answer for the next move will turn up. Sometimes you rest. You look and look and look, for the way. Then the way turns up. Its still not striving. Its watching.
More thoughts along these lines in this post on my painting blog.
I just posted a new YouTube video that shows how to make these canes. In the video I promised to photograph the canes and the purple blend that I used.
Come see the free video tutorial that shows how to make these! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLSF8m_xk_I
The purple blend for the “balloon canes” is Premo clay. White, Blush, Purple, Black.
Here are some wine glasses I made today from the canes in October’s issue of Cane Builder. I didn’t put any bond or adhesive on these glasses. The glass needs to be clean. Press the cane slices on very firmly. When you look at the clay from the inside of the glass, you will be able to see when it completely adheres to the glass. I’ve been able to hand wash these glasses without any clay falling off. One important part of the design is to make sure that all of the clay is connected. Because the clay is interlaced, and because it fits the contour of the glass, it doesn’t really have anywhere to go even if a small part gets disconnected.
It’s still important to treat these glasses carefully. Never put them in the dishwasher or microwave!!!
I put the glasses in the oven first. I let the glass preheat and cool off in the oven. I don’t know if this is necessary, but better safe than sorry!
My all-time favorite part of working with clay is playing and designing! Any time I sit down with a pencil and this wonderful mirror tool I can easily get lost for hours dreaming up new designs. I took these three canes
and came up with this kaleidoscope cane.
Kaleidoscope canes work just like real kaleidoscopes, so I thought, “why not make a video that shows canework just as though I were looking at an ever-changing kaleidoscope”! Here is the link to the video and a few more pictures of designing with the use of mirrors.