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Rambles: As for the topic of sharing technique: No date but it must have been early, like 2000.
I'll stand on record that any technique that I discuss here on this list is free for all y'all to try to noodle out on your own.
The trick with techniques is that everyone's "Leigh" Rose will look different, depending on choice of color of clay, amount of petals, the sizes and arrangements of petals, using skinner blends or bullseyes, adding leaves, the back ground design, not to mention whether this Leigh Rose will be turned into a mini tea set or as a covered egg...all these will make each person's efforts with the same technique come out differently. Our stamp of originality, what we end up doing with the design, will distinguish our work from others. People all have different tastes and one person's rose would speak to some folks and not to others.
Also...don't I want claymates who can run neck and neck with me, pell mell down the clay run way? Don't I want claymates who can skip ahead and do some fancy swan dive off of a technique, some nifty move that I didn't think of it, so they can show me and I can say "Oh Hey!" and like it? Like the filigree eggs...still can't get the nerve to do that technique...I got THE FEAR. But I got claymates here who will hold my hand so that's ok. That's why I got so excited when Susan just recently fell in love with chop and toss in the middle of last month. I could have wept. I felt...oooh a claymate that wants to noodle along with me on this most beloved of technique trails. I didn't realize how important it was for me to feel like I was not the only one in the world who found these mirror image designs were just too fascinating. I am still excited about it and await with bated breath to see her artwork efforts. I know my mirror images and Susan's are going to be different and I'm ready to be amazed.
I don't feel so much of a teacher but as an observer and journalist, in the sense of a daily journal of a travel, down the clay road. Most times I don't set out and plan to show a particular technique or other here. I am sitting in this train facing the caboose. I don't know where this is going so all I can report is where I've been, what happened in the process of mucking about in my own little claypen here.
If in the process of this experimental journey we, and I do use the plural...WE, stumble upon new techniques and we share it with each other and the outside world, then that's the intent and purpose of this list. It's all good, ya see? There are no secrets in the world that can't be figured out with reverse engineering anyway. Ideas and inspiration are like manna from heaven, they rain down on a number of heads and it's like the parable about sowing seeds...some fall on rock and don't flower, some fall on fertile earth and they bloom. Ideas are like that. A hundred people can get the same idea at the same time because all the pieces of the puzzle are there and they all make the connection at the same time. It's those who take that idea and run like a wild horse and put it into production and get their work out there who will prosper on a material level from that idea. Some folks would just be entertained by the idea and not move on it.
Unfortunately there are those who don't move on an idea and years later say, "I thought of that...hey." and feel bad for other's taking the idea to some financial gain. It reminds me of the joke about how many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb....301...one to screw in the light bulb and 300 to say "I could do that."
Well, just go do it then. Ain't no such thing as luck, there is only preparation...our mastering what techniques we can, there is practice...and that's what the swaps do, force us into production modes to make us find the fastest and easiest ways to get the best results, and there is keeping one's eyes peeled for the opportunity to exploit what we know. That's the equation for luck for me, preparation and opportunity, taken and stirred.
What's the point of this ramble? Mainly to reinforce the concept that any idea I share with all y'all are gifts, freely given, with love and trust that you will take any technique and run like the wild horses that you can be when fired up with an idea. If the only thing I end up doing here with my time on the list is to encourage all y'all to just DO IT, like a Nike commercial, to get over THE FEAR, like I did with making molds, to get a grip on your clay and be fearless like Paul Muadib, then I've done my job here and I am satisfied.
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