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A cycle of creative chaos

I have never been a tidy person. I leave a trail of destruction behind me where ever I go. I have accepted this aspect of myself now at the grand old age of 46 and even though I make a token effort to limit my mess making in the house, it is a totally different matter in my studio. I totally destroy the studio when I am making the work and there is barely a surface left untouched. Once the work has been bisque fired, the studio becomes even more cluttered, as I do final stage decorations on pieces that couldn’t be decorated as I made them, either because they were too fragile unfired, or because I forgot about them and the clay had dried out too much to risk applying any underglaze colours.

In the studio I only have to answer to myself and now as we speak, I am at the pointy end of a making cycle. This table with the labelled clutter is actually my main large work table, I finish off my slip cast cups on one side and roll out large slabs of clay for platters on the other side, where that pesky bowl of rocks sits. At the moment the worktable is covered with stuff, that was essential in the making process, but now that I am about to glaze, it is all clutter that is in my way.

As long as there is a dinner plate sized space of clear table left to work on, I can still work happily enough, this photo shows me at the decoration stage of the work. I only have to decorate a few pieces as all the decoration and mark making is done as I am making the work. Once the work has progressed past the “leather hard” stage and onto the “too dry to do anything else”  stage, I have generally lost interest in it.

Now it is crunch time, my deadline is looming and both worktables need to be clutter free in order for me to glaze the work. I have to make some new glazes and my standard stock glazes which sit under the table in ten litre buckets all need to be stirred well and then thoroughly sieved. A very messy job.

The studio will be all sparkly and clean for about an hour today and then the process of creative destruction begins again as I make a hell of a mess glazing.

I have procrastinated enough dear internets, and will be (mostly) incommunicado for the rest of the day, as I knuckle down and get ready to fire this latest kiln load of work.

Also for those interested, here are the paint brushes that I make with my hair. I just sticky tape the hair onto a wooden skewer.

And here is a photo of the marks these paintbrushes make on the work.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • sharon April 24, 2012, 10:15 am

    I can understand the mess while working bit only too well. My work spaces used to be very tidy when I first started paper-crafting etc but now I have a whole room (though not as spacious as your studio!) it generally resembles the local tip. What does amaze me about your studio is that all that ‘stuff’ fitted into your home and there was still a bit of room left for you and The Spouse 😉

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:41 am

      Some of the stuff was purpose built for the studio as well Sharon, the Steel rack in front of the kiln was made for me. But a lot of the stuff was either in the house or on the Verandah. There is lots of space on the verandah now.

  • Grit April 24, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Hi Kim, was happy to have had a look in your Atelier! Bonne journée !

  • Lucy Poodle April 24, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Great shots!!! Awesome to see where the genius plays!!!

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:39 am

      Thank you my lovely. I need to get down and see you soon and take some clay impressions of those wonderful bricks of yours. I have the prettiest green glaze in mind for some leaf bowls for you. Small ice cream bowls I think. As well as something larger for your garden.

  • janet April 24, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Wow! And how nice to have so much space now for all the tools of your art. It looks like a happy kind of disorder.

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:37 am

      It is actually Janet, it is an ordered chaos. And I clean the studio more regularly than I clean my house. (oops)

  • Philly April 24, 2012, 9:42 pm

    Haha! I love that labelled picture 😀

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:37 am

      I thought you might Philly. *grins* I didn’t clean up your space though

  • river April 24, 2012, 11:11 pm

    It’s a wonderful, wonderful studio!!

    Do you need an assistant? I’m excellent at stirring and sieving.
    Not so good at actually creating though.

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:34 am

      Thanks River, I need more shelves but that has been the soundtrack to my life *grins* I would very much. love a sieving and stirring assistant. The job is yours. 🙂

  • Elephant's Child April 25, 2012, 9:39 am

    Wonderful, wonderful art space. I love your hairy brushes, nearly as much as the marks they leave. These works are doubly blessed – created with your artistic hands and mind, and given the final touch with the gift you gave to the Leukemia Foundation.

    • frogpondsrock April 26, 2012, 9:36 am

      Thanks EC I call them hair brushes when I am talking about them and of course people think I am talking about “hair brushes” not paint brushes made from my hair. Sometimes I even confuse myself.

  • Sadhana April 28, 2012, 3:16 pm

    LOVE IT! Just like me 🙂 mess and creativity YAY!

  • Marian Williams May 3, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Glad to know that I’m not alone in this crazy cycle of creativity! Is there no way around it?

  • Jebaru May 20, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Looks like my kitchen. Now, is that a hairbrush or a paintbrush?! Hmmm.