February 06, 2013


Well, they are not that new.... several days.
I think it really does take me a while after work comes out of the kiln to know what I like.
It is the strangest thing. I have heard it from a zillion ceramic artists and it continues to perplex me.

I pull the work out and I feel ...UGH...
This is not right. That is not right...
And then I come back to them and with a different eye....
I think... OH... I kind of like that... Not EVERY piece... but many.
A little hard because these are time consuming... all because I wanted to emphasize
the PROCESS as the part I enjoyed participating in... the carving, the manipulating...
So, when they crash and burn... WELL...
It's a tough experience for me because it is a bit of a roller coaster.
And frankly, not the healthiest ride for me.

That said, I keep FIGHTING the JOURNEY of it all.
And really, I CRAVE the  JOURNEY at the same time.
Sort of a dichotomy and also the STORY of MY LIFE.

I get rather bored?  Or jumpy... ready to try something new.
Particularly lately...
The important relationships in my life,I  don't jump in and out of it...
And I don't really jump in and out of clay...
I get INSPIRED... Try this, try that.
It gets me scared and frazzled.

And yet...  I am really looking for a cozy lovey feeling...
A safe place to fall ?
And then I think... If you find that, if you don't push the boundaries...
the abilities of clay and glaze and firing(with in an electric kiln????),
won't you just tire of it and move on to something else....

Perhaps my crisis is my struggle to accept who and how I am.
Perhaps I just need to wait and embrace those things that GET this part of me.
Rather then shove it all into a pretty package and box
that will position me to get me into a trade show.
I struggle with this. I don't know WHY I STRUGGLE WITH THIS.

I GET THAT. At times I think I should leave my art behind and put my energy into
struggling with those MUCH BIGGER ISSUES IN THE WORLD.
BUT the art pulls me back... my inner world and struggle and
desire for it to be "heard"...HAS A TIGHT GRIP  ON ME.

And so I continue. I would just like to find more ZEN in it all...
Not necessarily WORKING with the CLAY. I find the ZEN and PRESENCE
when I work with the clay... It's all the other stuff that confuses me as to
If you see my work change and change again...
Just know:
My MUSE is messing with me...
I  am doing my best to follow her and see where she is headed
and if she brings me right back to where I was...
Well, That is OK too.


  1. Thanks for sharing Judi. I think we are all our own harshest critics.We all say opening the kiln is like Christmas. Well, Christmas isn't always all it's cracked up to be and often we are disappointed that it didn't measure up to what we imagined it would be. When we take a second look we have already put those unrealistic expectations aside and our perspective is a lot better.

  2. Judi, first of all these are incredible, when I think back to the work you posted on your blog when I first found you.... Jeez girl!
    We seem to be in similar minds. I fought the "make work to get me in shows and galleries " all last year and it completely drained me me mentally. I am taking a step back and making what I want to make, and I don't care who likes it, I just want to play a little and quit worrying about who I am not better than. I hear ya on your struggles, but you seem to be on a wonderful journey tight now! I too wonder what world problems I am not solving by making craft, maybe I did that in a past life, ha!

  3. Thanks Dennis... I hera ya!!!
    Tracey, I wish you lived closer so I could make you CHAI!!! I need to get my groove back... I feel it comin'...
    maybe I need to look back for perspective...
    and then again, Maybe not...
    We are going to Beaver Creek Saturday so I will try not to ponder too much... bringing my knitting and a sketch book and lots of kindle and audio books... AND my wired for music helmet and trusty snowboard....

  4. You pieces are lovely!!!
    I am so glad I found your blog.

  5. I agree with Tracey, this work is pretty amazing!

    I am convinced that it has to be this way, the wrestling with the expectation/outcome deficit. Otherwise we probably wouldn't motivated. It's a very uncomfortable place in the process, but it's also the fuel!

    We spend a lot of time as we mold these objects in our hands, reacting and changing them. When the pieces are fired and finished the chance to manipulate the shape, texture, color is over. (I guess there's always a hammer) It's also very hard to turn off the critical eye. So we look for the elements that need to be further developed, right?

    Anyway, I don't know if this made any sense, but I do the same thing. It's a natural continuation of the process. I was just talking to Scott Cooper about his firing at Penland yesterday. The ceramic process is bit of a square wheel. The clunks between firings or cycles of work are difficult, and getting back to work takes quite a herculean effort sometimes.
    This ceramic process is perplexing. Writing about it is cathartic.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective!

    Keep on!

  6. Ditto MK. You're work is amazing, your muse is just messing with you, mess back.

  7. Thank you guys! I had been in a rough place and over the past week before leaving I really felt better and wondered why I let myself get so down.., i worked on these very large pueces and they were really too wet to start the manipulating but I WANTED TO. But once again I learned my lesson TWICE because the both lost the structural integrity and started to collapse and I probably could have "saved" them but I would know they sucked on the inside so i reclaimed the clay and threw a 3rd that I can mess with when I get home. It is amazing how much working with clay teaches me regarding i tangible lessons by using the tangible scenario with clay. You PHYSICALLY are presented with why impatience can be destructive. Wow. Life lessons...sometimes they are hard to stomach but si glad when you GET IT.


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