Lately my classmate, Angela Fisk, and I have been having a lot of fun learning to use clay. I did a lot of pottery as a teenager, and it’s just filled me with joy watching Angela fall in love with the medium so totally. I am hoping we can get more people to come a play, and learn the basics, so that even if the lecturers don’t tend to teach clay, students can pass the basics down, and perhaps Massey Fine Arts will have a ceramics club for a short while. The interest has been overwhelming, but that hasn’t translated into people actually taking up my offer to give them a lump of clay and get them started hand-building. That might be because people are busy, I don’t think any of the interest if just feigned, and I’m hoping that we can coordinate with the local Potter’s Association to make some cool stuff as a group. I’m going to go observe a pit firing in November so that perhaps we can negotiate around our art department’s lack of kiln(!) For my own part, I’ve been playing with brick patterns, with shifting and warping clay “plates”, and with liquifaction, all images associated with earthquakes, continuing my Christchurch earthquakes theme from last semester, but hopefully getting more general. I haven’t made anything beautiful or special yet, but I’m still in the experimenting stage, having lost nearly two weeks to the flu.
I’ve also been making paper clay, so that I can build sturdier and more delicate sculptures. It’s a tedious process, firstly you have to pulp a lot of paper, but the worse part is combining two parts clay with one part strained pulp. It it very messy work, but the resulting clay is satisfyingly versatile compared with raw clay!