In a previous post I talked about one of the non-photographic creative outlets I have in the music I create as Artificial Human. My other, most recent creative love is ceramic sculpture. Music and sculpture utilize vastly different creative muscles from photography than, say, drawing, painting, video or graphics.
I started appreciating and collecting pottery when I was in ASU’s American Indian studies program. Pottery/ ceramics are quite big around Arizona and New Mexico because the arid climate lends itself to drying out pieces- in England, it may take a week for something to dry out and be fire-ready whereas here it only takes a day.
Ceramics are awesome for many reasons:
- The work has an end. You can’t get more done than something being glazed and fired.
- Some pieces are utilitarian- bowls and mugs and vases etc.
- It isn’t something that can be digitized and pirated. If you want it, you have to make it yourself or buy it. And a lot of people are willing to spend money on ceramics.
- Clay is a tactile experience that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a screen.
- Clay is so easy to model and shape. It’s fascinating to see what you can do with something that starts as a ball of mud.
- There is a pretty low cost to be involved in ceramics. Even if you don’t have your own wheel or kiln, the art studios I work at in Chandler and Mesa both offer affordable “work at your own pace” classes where you have full access to the facilities.
Someday I want to create some installation featuring photography, music and ceramics. Of the three I am definitely the least knowledgeable of ceramics, but that’s part of what makes it so exciting to me. With so much to learn, every new piece is a step forward.