My mother was a potter. I remember feeling excited to see the glazed pieces being unwrapped, opening and closing a set of rectangular boxes with lids that fitted perfectly, drinking from her stoneware cups and being in her wheel room surrounded by drying pots, the smell of clay intermingled with the soda smell of laundry powder. You can’t rush clay. It has its own time.
Pottering: I rarely work in a linear way, I always have several projects on at once, and move between them. I find, in this way I can layer up my projects as inspiration and enthusiasm catch me, instead of trying to will my uncooperative self to do.
I’ve learned to keep moving, and trust that projects get done in their own time. “Layer it up and then let it go” a festival director once said to me. Brainless tasks can lead me into more complex ideas than reading or procrastination. So when I went to play with my new toy: an orca torch, melting pieces of silver, my silversmithing lessons seemed to spring back into my hands, although my my conscious memory of how to solder and shape the silver is dim.
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