Sunday, March 14, 2010

visual chaos

I think I was chastised today for writing too much about my kids and not enough about being a potter; I can't tell anymore what people are trying to say, but I think that was it.

Unloading a kiln, I got really excited about the color mustard and the way my mustard glaze goops onto the inside of a bowl and the way it flashes onto the clay body and how amazing it looks with the strong green rather than the quieter green although it might be too reminiscent of 70's kitchens...Boy was it great eating off of that 50's tableware at Larry's last night; that gravy boat made me want to quit potting. Why the hell do I make pottery? Life is too chaotic. Simple, clean, mass-produced tableware is all people can handle visually. There's also the "made for the masses" democratic aspect of it. Why the hell would someone want a chalky goopy mustard glaze when they can go to Ikea and get everything stackable, calm and cheap? Why am I making stuff that most people I know can't afford?

See, that's why I don't write about pottery. It's not all that interesting...I just go around in circles rhapsodizing mentally about a color or a shape, and then questioning not just my work, but craft in general.

Speaking of chaos. Why do I bother buying flowers? There's so much crap around; they just add to the chaos. I have to change the water constantly and re-arrange them; that smell of death that emanates from old flower water really unhinges me. As the healthy ones dwindle I have to change vases which entails my wobbling on the teetering stool to get a new vase off of the top shelf. Then I go into the "why do we have so much crap?" tirade. I also feel bad about using glass vases. I should have a ceramic one for every flower need; I'm a potter, but flowers look so great in glass, especially the mass produced ones from Ikea. You can see where this is going...

In San Francisco we had a hot pink kitchen that looked amazing with the plants and all of the pottery. My roommate was a potter too. Every piece of furniture in our house had been painted. My personal favorites were the old brown leather chairs an attorney had given me from his office. I got some all fabric pearlescent paint and painted the leather parts pearlescent electric blue with massive pearlescent chartreuse and purple polka dots.

My brother, an engineer, came to visit. He lives in North Florida and has no interest in aesthetics-even on a fashion level. He refuses to wear any clothes that are remotely uncomfortable, so it's sweats, tshirts and sneakers. He buzz cuts his hair every few weeks. Everything is plain. He eats plain meat, no sauce. He drinks only beer. His decisions are based on economics, quality and comfort. He's a great brother for me to have. When I need to buy something like insurance, a car, a car seat, I do whatever he says. He looked at all the painted chairs in our apartment and said, "Now that's a sign of someone with way too much time on her hands." I said, "Are you kidding me? look at all the chairs in the world that don't have polka dots? We're so BUSY!"

hmmm...he said taking a sip of his beer. That is a fundamentally different way of looking at the world.

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