Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Art of the Ear

Last week, I took a break from pinching pots and I deeply regretted it. I had worked double-time the week before, stocking up so I could take it easy on my vacation. (Yes, another vacation, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit).

This time, I got to spend one long glorious week in a large home right smack dab on Lake Michigan with 24 of my favorite people. I know, I know… you were with me until I said “24 people,” right? That’s a lot of bodies: a lot of showers using up the hot water, a lot of mysteriously disappearing food that you were just thinking of eating. But these are my siblings: John, Tom, Andrea, Timothy & Colette, and their mates and their children. I figured with all those people around, who would want to pinch a pot?

This turned out to be a big mistake because the moment I got there, the moment I saw the sweep of beach grass and sand and that deep wonderful Lake Michigan Blue, I regretted not having a wad of clay to pinch. Alas. Sometimes it’s okay to long for what you do. (I still wonder what would have happened to my pots if they had been created on the shores of the big lake.)

I came home with the usual pile of laundry and the usual errands and tasks that must be completed before school starts. I needed to get back to making art, ramp back up to my task of a pinch pot a day. I wanted some new inspiration. My recent departure to the looser lumpier style of pinching has been really exciting, but I have about 3 weeks worth of pots like that. I didn’t want to get into another rut.

Think of one thing, I told myself, one feature that you haven’t explored. It doesn’t have to be monumental. It can be a little change, a small step. Then it hit me: EARS. I’d say that of the 238 pots so far, there’s only been a handful with ears. This is something new. I decided NOT to tack on my ears as an afterthought, but to make the ears more integrated. To BEGIN with the ear. So that is what I did.

I have to say, I’m sort of amazed that a little shift can make such a difference. Ears. Big, floppy, stupid, ridiculous, embarrassing, protruding ears. They have brought a whole new energy to my pots. They have made me laugh. Now I’m just listening for the next idea…


  1. What a great project Lisa. It sounds and looks like you've been having fun with it

  2. excellent! I suppose it's impossible to not smile when you make those wonderfully organic ears.

    i love 'em.

    [I love mine best tho!!! Andy's here and he brought it, and I'm sending you a picture of when "my little whistler" now lives....]