I’m an artist. I’ve been saying this since I was nine and now I’m 62 and I think I’m starting to believe it.
It’s been twenty years since I left teaching to pursue my work full time. twenty years of sitting quietly each morning in my studio, molding literally thousands of small faces and figures out of porcelain, smoothing each crease and mark with the same clay tool in my hand I’ve used for all of those years. It’s a soothing and meditative process to feel the clay move, taking shape, slowly emerging from something so simple as a ball of powdered sand and water. Porcelain is the finest of clays, pure, smooth and white, you can stretch it as thin as paper or mold it into the most minute of shapes. Its fragile beauty belies its strength. Its temperamental character challenges me, torments, confounds and fascinates me. It’s an old friend which comforts me in difficult times, the familiarity of the routine, of hands working in simple repetitive gestures they’ve known for so long, my mind and breathing focused only on coaxing life from it. It’s magic, really, to change something primitive and simple into permanence.
Seventeen years of being taught by the same teacher and still more to learn. Every morning, the same lesson, every morning a new lesson.