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Archive for March, 2008

St. Patrick's Day lapel pinWell, once again I have failed to donate to the Red Cross. This time I had a unit of blood being spun down for platelets and my arm sprung a leak. The phlebotomist noticed my subtle signal (I chose a single, loud, clear ‘Ow’, which worked very well), said something about ‘burning’ to which I replied in the affirmative, glanced at my arm and said something I don’t recall clearly, but was probably rude-but-called-for.

I was unhooked, thanked, offered the chance to finish the movie (“Frequency” which looks to be very good), and sent on my way with my complementary umbrella and snacks. I was told that since they couldn’t return the red blood cells to my body I shouldn’t try to donate again for 56 days, which left me feeling a bit bummed. I spent years as a turnip (“everyone knows you can’t get blood from a turnip”) due to hemoglobin levels, and have been able to donate blood once and platelets twice in the last twelve months, so I found today to be particularly discouraging.

So, now I’m thinking about starting a knitting project based on the optimistic premise that I’m going to get a whole bunch of those Red Cross lapel pins to collect and display. I’ll knit up a super skinny scarf with red cross motifs on it, and use it as a foundation to show off…. (So far I’ve got one pin which I can lay my hands on, and one or two more I think must be around somewhere). When I’ve got a good start on it I’ll post the pattern.

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I am really lucky, in that the Art Center is (literally) right across the street from me.   ‘Real Life’ issues have kept me from taking classes for the last year or so, and I’ve missed them very much.   There’s something about centering, which connects you with the piece you’re working on and with the world spinning around both you and the piece.  There’s something about glaze-firing, where you do just about everything you’re going to do, and then let go completely, which are so organic, and so visceral, which I just haven’t found in any other craft.

I’ve just listened to an episode of The Firing Log, a potter/ceramicist interview podcast.   It really does make me miss potting even more, but it’s also nice to have contact with the craft again.    There are few audio podcasts dealing with it, many more video ‘how to’ casts, which are nice as well, but I like being able to put them on my player and listen while doing dishes or knitting.

Well, maybe this fall I’ll be able to take classes again.

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Just a few random thoughts about the process of creativity.

It seems to me that the ‘basic’ model is a three step process:

  1. (begin) the artist finds ‘inspiration’
  2. the artist labors to create a piece
  3. the artist releases the work to the audience (end)

I don’t think that the actual creative process ends there.  Once the work is ‘released into the wild’ it is transformed and reinvented by each and every viewer.   There are many layers of meaning in any work, and only a few were ‘put’ there by the artist.

I think, for me, that’s why it’s so hard to write for other people.  When I build a ceramic sculpture or knit a hat, the piece really is the message, and any other meaning which the viewer might find…  well, the viewer and I both know that I didn’t put it there.

When I write fiction, I know what I say, and I know what’s behind it, but the reader  only knows what sie finds there.  Not the same at all.  It’s very exciting, but it’s scary as well.

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