Friday, June 26, 2009

playing in the mud...

Faithful readers will remember meeting Lily, one of my new studio assistants. Lily is the UNC art student who loved her clay experience in high school and is here to learn more. For my part, I am gleefully telling her only half jokingly that I will in fact ruin her by filling her with all my learned and self-devised techniques, studio rules and happy to pass it on!

Yesterday Lily was here helping out, and anyone who spends time in a studio knows the immense value of someone running the shop vac, wiping down shelves and generally putting things back in order. And now she's been making plugs for my mug handles, which is a huge help as I rush to the finish line for yet another firing cycle. thankyouthankyouthankyou.

But her favorite part so far, as it turns out, is also one of my most favorite parts. Yesterday I introduced Lily to the wet, sloppy, muddy part of reclaiming clay. I think you can tell a lot about a person in how they approach a big bucket of wet clay, and how they handle the request to go elbow deep into it and mix it up then lay it out on plaster slabs. Lily comes from good stock I can tell, because she embraced the experience (I think her words were something like "this is cooooooool!"), and I think if she had the option she may well have gotten into the bucket completely!

After rollicking in the muck and laying out the clay (which I just finished wedging and will soon pug), she got to play with the product on the other end of the cycle and made some good progress with her cylinders on the wheel.

Now that's a good day of playing in the clay!

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