My 7 days at MISSA

In recovery from an intense 7 days at MISSA. First, I had 5 days of “Write for Your Life” – a mixture of discussion, writing practice and critique with the high point being a private sessions with writer Brian Brett to receive feedback on writing I had sent in the week before. Very helpful. I’m still processing but I think I have a new way of looking at my work.

The writing practice that Brian assigned us helped to strengthen our story telling skills and made me more aware about what I was saying/writing. I’m finding the workshop experience tough to write about at the moment. I think I still need to process the days and review my writing and notes. What I do know is the writers in the workshop were a fabulous bunch. Listening to everyone’s writing throughout the week was an educational experience. More on this workshop experience later

The final 2 days of the week had me shift from writing to sculpting. Our instructor, Debra Sloan, soon had us pounding and pushing large chunks of clay into form. Her technique is to work with solid clay, create the form, cut it into sections, hollow it and put it back together. Once at this stage it can be adjusted, decorated etc. Sounds simple and is simple in a way but there is always that attention to detail: how to create, where to cut, how much to hollow out etc. etc. As someone used to making faces and simple shapes I decided to let Debra’s work inspire me and created a sculpture of my dog Farley who passed away last year from cancer. Farley was a lanky, somewhat goofy Airedale rescue that we got when he was 5. My intent was not to create an exact detailed replica of him but to capture his essence.

Farley Farley in clay

The sculpture is currently drying – very slowly. Then I will texture, stain and fire – very slowly.

For my writing and processing the workshop it is another act of “slowly”. More posts with bits of inspiration from the class coming soon.

Posted in everything, progress, writing.