11-21-02: Sanding Meditation
I don't know about other
clayers, but there's a certain meditative
space I get into when wet sanding skewers of beads.
Like my hands know what needs to be done and I can just think about
stuff. There was a beautiful sunset, that tooth aching candy corn
pink on dirty blue jeans clouds. Seagulls flying eastward, must be a
small storm off the coast and they'll hang out in the bay, or in
chichi reflecting pools in the financial district. There's falcons or
hawks downtown, they eat the rats so office workers feel kindly
towards them. Something natural to look at in the right angled gray
and silver world of office cubicles.
I was thinking, should I give effort in doing miniatures that
replicate the manufactured world. I gave effort to laptops and cell
phones, and James said tactfully "Not your best work." As a sales
item it would most likely move.
As a clay topic it's not going to heal me.
We all need healing, zooming around in metal contraptions, on ribbons
of asphalt, moving from one box to another, the only contact with
nature is to run from the cold and wet.
Humans, the primate that didn't evolve. We keep our homes like the
savannah, hot and dry. We like to look over wide plains, from a
height, with protection to our back. Home builders and architects
know this and built to hit us in our prehistory memories of hiding in
trees, looking out for predators.
My hands in dusky water, sanding skewers of beads assembly line style
and I remember how the raccoon washed away the whole mini SugarDaddy sucker at
creek behind our cabin at Church Camp. The nature hit.
I think of how I stressed with making mini manufactured goods. How my
right angles aren't straight, how my human hands can't do perfect. I
think of the disappointment when I looked at efforts of replicating
things that were not made with human hands and I have to stop and say
HEY... I'm a non-evolved, heat loving, human with a connect with
nature and I don't have to make things that look manufactured! I
don't have to have exactly straight and perfect lines!
I was wondering why I leaned towards natural things like flowers,
leaves, faux stone and wood. Why the only mini thing outside of dolls
that I really love to do is food. I figured that it must be the
nature hit. Doing flowers heals me. Doing leaves feels good, I want
to make a big nest of leaves and go to sleep in a tree like a primate
We have one of two directions we can pursue with our claying. We can
clay for profit, in that case make what sells and get your
spiritual/creative hit from your private work that you plug away at
out of sight. Or you can clay for self expression and through that
connect with something that isn't going to make you a penny on the
open market, but it can make your blood pressure go down.
Many of us came to clay because it was FUN. It felt GOOD to clay.
Then some folks wanted to buy one of our noodlings and then we get
sucked into claying for dollars. Then we're really close to loosing
the love of it, loosing the fun of it, making clay a stressor instead
of something that chills our antsy moods.
For me it's a ping pong back and forth thing where I clay for myself
and then I clay for others. That not only includes claying with the
motive to sell, but claying with the motive to teach. I have to
remind myself the motive as to why I clay at all.
I clay for occupational therapy. It chills me out. When I remember to
indulge my choice of color, design, outcome I heal my troubled mind
and world weary soul.
Not that this ramble has any direction or purpose other than to share
some thoughts I had while wetsanding 13 skewers of beads while the
sun went down behind those wild clouds.
For the new list members would like a way to sand beads by the dozen
instead of one by one... here's the link.
My only change in this bead wetsanding trick is I've dropped the C
clamps. I find I can adjust the direction of my sanding to keep the
beads on the skewer.
What's on your work table?