I started back in a ceramics class last Saturday and it feels good to be getting my hands dirty again. I am playing with some Porcelain clay today. Oh my gosh, it is soft as butter. My teacher told us there was no grog in it, but I had no idea what that would really mean until I got my hands on some. Right now I have to say it is not my favorite clay to work with but that is just because I am not use to it yet. I made a pinch pot that I will not even post because it is so wonky and a robot head and a little Scottie sculpture. This clay seems very well suited for small sculptures.
Trinity Mills Ceramic Supply and picked up a couple of tools, a 25 lb bag of wet porcelain and a book called " Finding One's way with Clay". The book was originally published in the early 70's and the writing is terrific. Berensohn has that old school spiritual approach to craft that we were exposed to in college. In college I was a Fine Arts major with a concentration in jewelry and metal working. In school we were taught that you not only need to be concerned with making beautiful objects, you also need to be connected to your materials on a very deep level. Process, materials, technique ... these were our gods. As a young woman I could only take so much "craft art talk" without rolling my eyes, however at this point in my life I find I am much more receptive to ideas and perspectives that may not be my own.
Here is one paragraph I really like: "And so I am concerned here with the questions of 'How do we work? ' How do we exercise?' so that our bodies and the clay bodies come together strengthened and more articulate. The freedom I seek is not one that lets me do what I want to do but rather a freedom that equips me to do what I need to do." - Paulus Berensohn.