mayclayOK, really not going to get too awfully philosophical here but over the weekend a realization was slammed home that should have been obvious and somehow was not: Once you get art into your head, one way or another, it’s gotta come out. 😉

Between my dad’s accident, work, broken cars, kilns, cameras and computers, I haven’t had a heckuva lot of time or space for simply making art, so I’ve pretty much put it aside for now. Didn’t think twice about that decision until I noticed that I seemed to be running in place.

My well of ideas, usually overflowing, had dried up. And I was turning the studio into–eeek–a storeroom.

Mind you, I can describe my next three sculptures with absolute certainty because in my head they’re already finished. Clear as crystal. Weird. (And wouldn’t it be great if I figured out a direct-to-glass neurotransmitter for this stuff? Faster. Save a lot of messing about.)

So Friday night I dug through the stacks to my last box of Hanjiki porcelain, dusted off my tools, and fired up Matthew White’s latest CD. Sculpture #1 popped out of the clay in a bit less than ten hours.

(The full 10-hour sequence used to appear in a slideshow on the home page of this blog but I lost it in the blog migration. I’ll see if I can get it back.) She appeared almost preternatually fast, and her brother and sister are crowding behind her, glaring at me to get on with it.

mayclay2May, above, still needs some things but she’s just about ready for the mold. Not saying she’s the greatest art I’ve ever done but making her literally popped the cork.

Suddenly my neurons are flowing again. Impossible problems are merely difficult, solutions are obvious, and ideas are coming fast and thick.

Go figure. Maybe once you commit to the art, it won’t be denied.  Doesn’t matter if it’s great or drek, it’ll demand its share of your time and if you don’t comply, it chomps your brain instead.

As I said, weird. But at least I know where I’ll be spending my free time…

P.S. By the way, this is part of a series of posts I’m making to describe the construction of one of my deep bas-relief portraits. If you’d like to see the whole series, click on these links:

  • The inspiration for the sculpture “May”
  • The constructing of May’s clay model (this post)
  • The making of a silicone mold of May
  • Planning May’s mold
  • Making May’s mold
  • Packing May’s mold
  • Decanting May’s test run
  • May the second (final version)
  • Taking the girls for a stroll