6 More Pots – actually bowls

When I wrote last week I was just getting into the ‘zone’. I felt the way I used to in college, looking for images, exploring, considering. I had a bear of a time sleeping last week. Just couldn’t get my brain to stop spinning. Been a long time since I had that problem.

Then the computer parts got here. We decided to get rid of the cable, but to do that we have to replace the DVR. We can live without the (mostly useless) 300 channels, but we can’t do without the DVR.  We watch less TV and we do it on our own terms, on our own schedule. We’re not willing to be  slaves again to the network schedule. Our other alternative is to quit TV altogether and being the TV addict I am, that’s not going to happen. So we decided to set up a Media Center computer. Hence the computer parts.

I upgraded the kids computer, put the antenna back up and got everything working. Finally finished yesterday. So far so good. The kids like it because they can play their computer games on the 42 inch screen, so they’re not complaining about losing cable. I loaded all the family pictures on the Media Center PC and they watched those for awhile. They love seeing pictures of themselves. So I think it’s going to work. Fast action is a little jumpy – think  I need a better video card. But overall, it’s working nicely.

But I lost my momentum, broke the zone. I did play with the site a little – changed the theme, played with some image sizes. That’s part of this experience – learning the tool.  I also managed a little Photoshop time. Played with Layer Masks. I’ve read about them, figured I should learn about them but never took the time. I’m starting to understand them. Just need to play some more then I’ll write something up.

Also talked to a friend who wants me to give her some basic photo lessons. Composition, stuff like that. I’m going to pull it together as a lesson and post it. Maybe start building a course outline.

I’m back.

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Yesterday, after I got the Media Center up I sat down and threw 6 more bowls. Ran out of my normal clay and pulled out the brown stone ware clay I bought last fall. Really like it. It isn’t as stiff as the other clay and formed up much easier. I liked the feel of it too. It is grainer than the other stuff, more texture. It feels good in the fingers. So, without much effort at all, I pulled up 6 bowls, one just a tad to thin and on the verge of collapsing. The rest went pretty well. Except no two could be considered similar. Someday I might actually pull that off.

Today I finished them. The white bowls went well. I’ve finally figured out if I finish them before they are too hard I don’t break them as often.  Doesn’t need as much force, stays on the wheel better. I threw one of them a little sca-wampus and the top was uneven. I managed to level it off and finish it – a little proud of that. My little spirit level made all of the difference.  But I was tired, rushed it a bit and by the end I was frustrated. Not feeling like I was doing a good job.  Yesterday felt good because it just flowed. Today it didn’t come as easily and I got frustrated.

A couple of pots…

 

The blog is working.

As I’ve stepped back and evaluated the direction my life is taking, vs. the direction I wanted it to take when I was young and idealistic (a common middle age crisis kind of thing)  I’ve identified a number of items that aren’t quite what  was going for.

One of them is my spiritual focus. (Don’t worry – I’m not going to get into a big religious thing here. That doesn’t qualify within the established parameters. Just making a point). It’s not as strong and well established as it once was.  I’ve looked back over the last 10 years or so to see where I diverged. Basically I’ve decided it is a reflection of what I spend my time thinking about.

The most recent things I put in my head impacts my focus in direct proportion to the amount of the thing I’ve put in my head in relation to the other things I’ve put into my head most within the same time period.

Pretty deep.

Basically, the time I spend reading or talking about the spiritual aspects of my life has faded away. The solution, read the scriptures more, attend more services, write about it, think about it. Then it will be more focused.

Now, this blog isn’t going to help me spiritually, but it is facilitating the same thing creatively. As I’ve put this up and started posting, I find myself thinking about being creative. How to do it, making time for it, etc. My work goal for today was to get the TV antenna up. I put it up late last fall to see if we could pick anything up with it. Thought I did a pretty good job until a wind storm blew it down a month later.  So, second try. Got it up.  Goal achieved, time to burn. Now what?

Throw some pots.

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While I was getting the tools and stuff I needed to do the antenna I flipped the heater on in my pottery room in the garage. So when I put my tools away, the pottery room was nice and warm and just crying out for me. I decided – two bowls. I’ll just throw two bowls and we’ll be good. No big effort, no attempt to create something magnificent. Just two bowls. 

I grabbed a bag of nice warm clay and threw two bowls. No big deal. Just did it.

An important element of this whole effort is the doing of the thing. I have a tendency to put to much weight on ‘doing things’ to make a giant production. I’m an amazing planner, organizer and get-ready-for’er. Then, with all of the pieces in place, way to often I fail to do ‘the thing’. I decided to do the pottery thing two years ago. I found a used kiln for a decent price. Took a class. My wife bought me a wheel for my birthday. That was cool. Over that summer I rearranged the garage, pulled in the other odds and ends I needed and ended up with a fairly decent pottery studio. Then last winter was just to cold. I bought a heater, but it wasn’t big enough for the whole garage so it never really worked. (Another me fact – I HATE being cold.) So last summer, after I put in the new sprinkler system, which then flooded our basement, which required the placement of all the basement furniture in the garage until the basement was cleaned, re-insulated, re-sheetrocked, re-painted and re-carpeted, I finally put a barrier up between the pottery studio and the rest of the garage. Notice – no significant amount of pottery going on during this period. A whole lot of other things going on around it. But now I had a studio I could be warm in.

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A month or so ago I went out to work, turned on the heater, set everything up, and grabbed a bag of clay.  It was frozen solid. So I moved it to a kinder environment. And once again, I didn’t do. I don’t have to make up excuses, they just happen naturally.

But today I did do. I had some time, I could choose to do anything I wanted to fill it and I threw two bowls. No big deal, just did it.

I credit the blog in my making that decision. It’s always in the back of my mind. I need to post something. I need to do something to post about. I find my focus sharpening, growing tighter.

Just put one foot in front of the other…

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