‘We’re creators by permission, by grace as it were. No one creates alone, of and by himself. An artist is an instrument that registers something already existent, something which belongs to the whole world, and which, if he is an artist, he is compelled to give back to the world.’ – Henry Miller
Humans are creative creatures. We’re not built to sit at desks, in front of computers. We have legs for dancing, voices for singing, hands for making, brains that go beyond fight or flight and have demonstrated creativity for millennia. We’re all artists of some kind, even those who ‘can’t draw’ or ‘can’t sing’. Creative expression is just what we do, in some form or another, whether we know how best to articulate it or not.
Ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal spoke about one of his first memories of throwing a pot on the wheel and how he was amazed not so much by the clay walls of the pot but the space that he had created. The magic of it for me is creating something from earth and water that will last for years. Not necessarily still whole and functional, but small shards of ceramic that will probably survive longer than everyone on the planet today. With each new object, my likes, memories, tastes, experiences, abilities, knowledge and a little bit of intuition jostle for representation. Once thrown, you have the option to discard it back to the earth or fire it, fixing it permanently in the world. Decisions and actions coming into permanent being in tiny, staccato fragments.
Making requires time; more time than you realise. And when you begin making you realise how much time you actually have. We’re living life at a sort of hyper speed. Modern technology devours our precious lives and leaves us impatient. When you’re making, you take back control. You have something tangible to show for the time you’ve spent. You’re focused so solely and intently on the movements of your hands and the effect that has on what you’re creating that it becomes a form of meditation. There’s no need to think of anything but the immediate present.
Kitty Stogdon | follow @kstogdon on Instagram for beautiful pictures of beautiful pots