28 November 2011

Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show.
Where to begin? and how long have we got?
Not a kiln blog this one but the culmination of 6 months of making and firing. I found out in March that I had been selected as one of 25 makers to represent Scotland as the guest country at PMA Craft show in November. Serious stuff when put like that but no matter how insignificant I feel at times this was an opportunity I wasn't going to turn down.
So I worked my socks off in a very unsystematic, head in the sand kind of way. Trying new things with new clay and new techniques, 'throwing' old stuff into the mix and hoping to goodness  that there would be something decent at the end of it. I fired the wood kiln 6 or 7 times in 6 months (too much for one middle aged woman)  in all weathers (mostly wet this year), rakuing whenever panic loomed. With only half my mind focused on it, the raku work grew, thrived and blossomed. The hands know what they are doing. 

The wood firing was a struggle. I loved doing it but wasn't yet loving the results. One or two pieces from each firing would shine and keep me motivated until the next firing. And I had to keep making, not give up, keep optimistic with all those warnings from wood firers ringing in my ears - ' you learn to love brown'   'don't expect the public to to love it'  'you'll smash more on the spoil heap than you'll keep', blah blah blah but how true.
And then from the ashes of the final firing, 2 days before taking the work to Edinburgh for shipping, a piece which rings all my bells and ticks all my boxes and sent a shiver up my spine......

(haven't even got on the plane yet, we'll get there eventually)


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