Monday, February 14, 2011

Making a Mess

Photo by Martin Cathrae, used under cc license
On Mondays I take a ceramics class at a local art studio.  I have never really considered myself any kind of artist, though I am surrounded by artistic talent in my life.  I just didn't inherit the visual artist gene.  You should see some of my photos--it's a family joke that I cut off people's heads.  So it was with some trepidation that I signed up for a parent/teen class a few years ago at my younger son's insistence. 

What I discovered was that I really enjoyed the process of creating with my hands.  And that I can actually throw things on the wheel that turn out halfway decent, and useful to boot.

But it's a messy process.  I am sitting looking at the splotches of dried clay that look like pink blood spatter on my clothes, despite the smock I wear when I'm at the wheel.  When I throw, I embrace the mess, accepting of the fact that sometimes I'll get a centered, proportional cup or bowl and sometimes I'll get a plop of overly wet clay that needs to be scraped off the wheel and reclaimed.

Ceramics is the one time in my week where I can let go of expectations and create without the need to be 'perfect' or 'right.' And given my perfectionism and compulsive drive, this is a healthy thing.

I think it's important to make a mess.

I think it's important to fully engage in a process without chaining yourself to the outcome.

I think it's important to laugh at your own mistakes, scrape them from the wheel, and start all over again.

1 comment:

  1. Although I have never been able to put it into words, that is exactly how I feel about crochet.

    It feels so good to be defined!