Marilyn's Artist's Statement
...That YOUR creativity is the most important
...That YOU are important,
and that your voice in clay needs to be heard.
...That YOU arrived in class to learn a skill,
and every opportunity will be afforded to you to learn it in your own way.
Written for a show in Warwick...
Repetition as Meditation
“Huh? What do you want me to do???” the student exclaims in shock.
“Make fifty cylinders, five sets of ten. One set from two pounds of clay, one from three, and so on. Each piece of the set must be the same height and width. Oh…and trim all of them the same way.” I smile.
The repetition assignment has become a classic for me. It makes potters out of hobbyists. It teaches important skills, hones decision making, and tests muscle memory.
It also blurs the division between the physicality of form making, and the spiritual place of creation. Somewhere in the repetition, in a place of trusting the centrifugal force and intuitively knowing where to place hands upon the whirling clay, the potter is lost in a cosmic dance with nature…mud, gravity, water, intense sensations on the fingertips, hands, a breeze created by the spinning wheel gently touching the face. In a moment it all happens… the potter joins with the rhythm of the wheel, the wetness of the material, and is in a space as deep as any to which the most powerful mantra can lead.
The space is beautiful, just verging on joyous. It is familiar, becoming more personal with each pot…Each repetition requires a tiny bit less thinking, a tiny bit more “being.”
Slow emergence from the meditative space can feel lonely, except that potters have a treat to help the transition... Center, open, floor, walls, trim. Center, open, floor walls, trim. Center, open, floor, walls, trim. And at the end, we have pots for which to care… fifty of them!
Ahhh. The system’s perfect. Namaste.
Warwick Pottery Studio