I’ve been working on several commission pieces over the last several weeks and the results of thinking, planning, testing, making, remaking, glazing and firing are coming together nicely. Projects like this make me happy. They usually start with an idea or suggestion to create something. The trick is to translate that into a clay form that is pleasing both to the recipient and satisfactory for me, the maker. Mostly I’ve found this transaction to be successful.
First, I try to accurately communicate the picture of the final product I’ve formed in my head either through a (very) crude drawing or picture of a clay model I make.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, I’ve learned to trust my creative instinct knowing the customer has commissioned a piece of art based on their belief in me.
Often, my final inspiration evolves once I have my hands in the clay in the studio. Because I tend to think in pictures, it may take several attempts to get my hands and the clay to cooperate with my vision. I don’t find this frustrating. It is gratifying and keeps me coming back to the studio. Again, I try to keep the customer informed of my progress because there are instances where this process takes several weeks.
There's nothing better to a potter, than opening up a glaze kiln to find shelves full of success! To quote “Hannibal” from the 80’s TV Show, The A Team – “I love it when a plan comes together!” Cue the music!