The bowl began as a beautiful, freehand creation. As I rolled out each worm-like element and shaped it, a whimsical (with a touch of elegance) design appeared. I continued to build the bowl one wormy piece at a time.
Now…it is an accurate representation of my life.
Sunday, I turned the mold upside down to release the bowl. What happened next was unexpected and yet anticipated. I did not fix it. I simply made a bowl with a lot of worm carcasses to pick up off the studio table. Damn.
With a glass of wine within reach I started the task of re-assembling my
I combined a hunk of clay and water in a small mason jar to make a lot of slip. I spread the pieces out and tried my best not to break the fragile worms. One by one I glued the bowl design together. It took me over an hour of matching the pieces to the indented pattern. Since clay shrinks as it dries, not all the worms fit and knobs had to be broken off. What a mess.
I took several deep breaths and did my best to remain as calm as possible. It was not easy. I was able to avoid the temptation to throw my heap of miscombobulation against the wall.
On Monday, the vibration from each step I took in the room was enough trauma to dislodge one worm carcass after another. A pile formed throughout the day and I’m still uncertain what to do with them. I may have Kristine bake the bowl that remains in tact along with the escape artists, or I may toss the worms into the clay recycle bucket. I’ll decide their fate later.
Either way, this experience is affecting me on multiple levels. A dear friend of mine posted the following question on her Facebook page. Barb wrote on Song of an Extraordinary Life: “What does ‘seeing through the eyes of imagination’ mean to you in the work you do?”
My response inspired me to continue writing about the “Broken Art” bowl. I wrote: “Art is my therapy right now. It is how I am moving through my grief and other life circumstances. Art is how I am seeing beyond my heart break. It is how I express how I feel. It is how I escape when I feel too much. It is getting me to see the beauty and pain of a mother’s love when my pen touches paper, on a canvas and in pottery clay. For me, in this moment, seeing through my eyes of imagination is cracking open my heart and expressing my heart’s breath of life.”