The idea of making a boat menorah just came to me, it felt easy. I have been into making finely detailed porcelain flowers lately and you know my interest in boats as metaphor for so many ideas, so this was bound to happen. It’s an ongoing conversation I have been having with my clay. I can’t really explain why this owl is here other than to witness the of lighting of the candles.
I have been happily working with white porcelain clay for a long time now but every now and then I catch myself looking longingly at my box of Midnight black clay. It’s pretty messy stuff and I have to wear surgical gloves whie I work with it because it contains manganese … a toxic chemical that penetrates skin, so it’s a real bad-ass clay.
It makes a mean mud pie mess ~
It is So fun
and such a relief from my tidy contained white clay workings. Don’t get me wrong, I am still enchanted with white porcelain but such a drastic change stirs my pot and is a welcome disruption. The challenge is to keep these two siblings apart so I can work in peace. I know they will play together in a piece one day soon. ~ I can already see it ~
I keep making Octopuses, I just can’t help it.
I go to make an elephant and the trunk makes me think
I would like to be making an Octopus right now. Then the poor elephant has heard my thoughts … well, is my thoughts, and the trunk comes out a bit too long and octopus-like.
well … they are kind of similar .. this one came out of the kiln with an arm pointing to it’s eye like a gangster would do.
“I’m watching You!”
Of course getting the “eye” might not be to me, it could be to
some shenanigans going on in the heat of the kiln.
“I’m watching You!” like in the Mermaid and the Octopus moment. When I made them, their hands were a breath away from touching, then as they dried, Octopus kept raising her arm higher, and who knows where those arms went while in the kiln, but this is how they finished.
Coming down for another touch , moving away or somewhere in between?
I’ll never know this is what I love about all this, its unpredictably.
Inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes it’s just a matter of saying Yes. I have made Elephants because of my 2 friends’ love of them, powerful enough to create a touring storytelling show about them called Hidden Elephant, and I have made Imaginaries because of my love of creating a lovable figure without convention. But I hadn’t imagined Monkeys. They were requested in celebration of this Year of the Monkey.
So I got to work. It took a while to find Monkey in my fingers and in my my clay. Years ago I read the classic Chinese story of Dear Monkey, a story about the mischievous monkey king given the task of guarding the immortal Peach Orchard, he caused a great upset with the Immortals of course and had many other astonishing adventures. It’s a fantastic read.
One can not see a monkey the same way again after that book.The Yang style Tai Chi Sword form has the most beautiful titles for each position ~ The wild horse jumps the ravine Follow the currant, push the boat Black dragon twists around the column and
White Ape Presents Fruit
performed by master Yang Jun, nephew of Yang Zhen Duo(son of Yang Cheng Fu)
I know what it feels like to be that white ape presenting fruit, it’s a simple and straight forward move in its earthly complexity. I always imagine presenting a peach, probably because of the story, and I learned that the Peach symbolizes Immortality. I see this Monkey in my mind as I play the sword.
So I drew on what I understood.and Monkey came to me