Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
I got lost last week in clay – or at least “re-lost”.
I immersed myself in a week long course at MISSA called Handbuilding – Tricks of the Trade with instructor Vince Pitelka. For me, the course was less about the tricks and more about working with the clay. I wanted to rediscover it with a beginner’s mind in an energized setting. The physical setting of MISSA is beautiful. It is tucked into the hills and rocks of Pedder Bay on Vancouver Island and is a place of forest and ocean. But that is the physical. The energy of the place is enhanced by learners and creators and I would guess that every person there manifested the energy of both.
Hands in clay, we coil-built tall pots, slab-built cups, bowls and boxes, pinch-built tiny pots and delightful whistles. And yes, if you didn’t know – I was born with the last name of Clay but never touched the stuff until I was in my mid-thirties. Over time I learned to create in clay with my primary focus being on sculpting. Now in my mid-fifties I am re-investing myself in the medium. I have a sculpture or two in my head waiting to be created but I also have a few whistles to make – my grand-daughters are coming for a visit!