First Comes Vision

First Comes Vision

One of the most difficult parts of an artist’s journey can be turning her vision into finished work. Often times, I am walking the dog, reading a book, or simply cleaning my pool when a vision suddenly comes to mind. I can see what the finished work looks like, but I don’t yet know how I can make it happen. My “vision” doesn’t tell me how to overcome certain obstacles….. also known as physics or chemistry.

The Science Of It All

While there is much creativity in my work, ultimately I am also beholden to science – specifically physics and chemistry. I may see a form that I want to create, but first I must respect the physical laws that rule how much clay is required to support different parts of my piece. What will stand up and what will fall? How far can I push a piece before it collapses? How do I make fluid matter stay put on a vertical surface? There are answers to these questions and without these answers, my vision will remain a vision. If only that was the only challenge…

Once I find the answers to the physical challenges, chemistry will throw up the roadblocks. You see, I create my own glazes. What that means is I must mix all of my chemicals in the right proportion in order to get the color and effect that I envision. Since I fire in an oxidation atmosphere, my color pallet is limited…..unless I find a way to make it limitless. This takes resilience to get through the testing, failures, frustration, and SUCCESS!

Follow My Vision

I am completely uncertain if I am going to be able to take my latest vision to a finished piece. It will defy the laws of physics and that is not the easiest thing to do. But, I am certainly determined. I do know that I will keep this vision in my head every step of the way. Some of the steps will not be pretty, but I will not let that derail my efforts. Here is a shot of the early phase of testing. This is where I will be able to make the most mistakes on my quest to defy the laws of physics and chemistry. Step one is simply cutting into a piece, that is perfectly symmetrical, in order to make it less perfect. Follow me if you can…..and try to see if your vision matches mine.

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