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What If

All is about asking the right questions

The Kiln God

Questions about making Posted on Apr 28, 2016 21:55

Resorting to divine intervention is
not my cup of tea. I am a stranger to the world of spirits and superstitions.
As a sculptor, I am more of a materialist; I have to touch to believe.
Sometimes I trust more my hands than my eyes and I don’t worry about mistakes.
I find the accidents from experimentation fascinating. A whole world of
discoveries opens up when things go wrong. It’s a new world to me even if
others have been there already. I usually set up my firings in a way that there
is room for uncertainty, there is a precarious balance, an untested glaze mix,
a window of surprise and hope when I open the kiln.

But with Dendrite, I am in a different
territory. The parts need to fit, the glazes need to work, firings need to be
completed successfully. There is no room or time for things to go wrong and I
dread to think of any cracks or misses.

Many years ago, I have made a small
statue of a kiln, very rough and primitive, with a long chimney and I named it
The Kiln God. It was a tribute to the good luck charms used since antiquity
by potters around the world. I thought it would be nice of me to make a small
offering to this Kiln God, hoping he will keep my firings safe and prevent any
disasters until this project is done.

I leave now a jelly heart in his mouth every time I put the kiln on. Even if Jill, my studio mate, complains when the jelly melts and smokes, I still think it’s a good sign; he is satisfied.

Dendrite, the journey

Questions about making Posted on Apr 28, 2016 21:53

As the work progresses mixed feelings
of satisfaction and stress emerge. One by one the pieces of the puzzle start
matching and as I move into larger rings there is an element of wonder and a
sense of achievement. Objects of unfamiliar big scale start filling up the
small studio and I find myself surrounded by these remarkable tubular vessels.
They are all individual with their personal form, texture and colour though
they are part of the same story; they need to talk to each other. Their
imperfections should be complimentary, and when the day comes to meet each
other it should feel as they were meant to be together. But it’s a long
way to Ithaka and a million things can go wrong. As they transform from mud to
stone there are temptations and dangers and these clay characters
have such volatile personalities.

Iacta alea est.
Since the journey has started, there is no way back. I should hope the journey
is long and full of adventures and experiences and this kind of wealth is what
I should be hoping for. The wise words of Kavafis will keep me company.