Wayne Gretzky, the undeniably great Canadian hockey player, once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
When I read that many years ago, I thought he was only referring to sports. I was so wrong. So very very wrong.
As it turns out, every piece of pottery than I never made was destined to be perfect. Magnificent works of art. I just never made them.
Pottery is a maker’s art. You have to show up and play the game. You have to get messy and dirty. You can not make pottery in a sketch book or sitting around thinking about it. You have to do it.
My design process is pretty organic. I throw a pot on the wheel and make judgements to “improve” the piece as I throw the next. Sometimes the changes are subtle and sometimes, not so. But the organic nature of the process can only happen when my hands are in the mud. I really do have to show up to create.
Now, it’s not everyday that I feel very creative. I do have days when the idea of sitting down and throwing a few dozen pots is not all that exciting. As I pug the clay and prep it for the work ahead, I just feel like I’m going through the motions of art and not the E-motions of art. True. There are motions before the emotions.
When the clay is pugged and measured, I cover it with plastic to keep it from drying. I set it next to wheel. I walk over to the workshop and fill my water jug with hot water and after walking back to the mud room, fill my throwing bucket. I then sit down and throw a pot. Throwing that first pot of the day is not always that exciting. I’m still just going through motions.
Sometimes the first pot gets me in the game. Other times takes a dozen pots or so before I start really feeling like I’m playing the game well. But because I show up, things are made and art has a chance of happening.
I’m about to head on over to the mudroom. When I hit the switch that turns on the heater, I’m going to think about Mr. Gretzky’s quote. today. Game on.
Lickinflames is known for making special yarn bowls, shawl pins and closures along with a line of mugs, plates and wall decor. Lickinflames is proud of it's 45 year history of making pottery using raku, obvara and feather decorations. The beautiful patterns created by saggar firing, especially tin foil saggar simply fascinating. All the work is handmade using stoneware clay.