HANDS IN CLAY
My time developing large scale outdoor sculptures was enthralling. Carving and shaping the materials to reveal the flowing lines allowed me to get into my groove. The only challenge being that they are really heavy! And being heavy created many problems, not only in production but a logistical nightmare to move. Hence the search for a more practical medium began. I had an innate desire to make, just on a smaller scale.
Analysing this problem led me to the thought of clay. The easiest "clay" that I could get my hands on was some air drying clay. Thinking that it must be similar to the clay I remember in my childhood, especially as it came in terracotta and white, I thought it would be perfect for a scaled down approach. No need for a kiln, brilliant! Not.
It was nothing like I remembered, it was weirdly sticky and just felt wrong. Disappointment abounded.
There was nothing else for it, I just had to get my hands on a proper lump of clay. If nothing else but to see if my memory was correct. It was a long time ago, but that feeling of clay in the hands is unforgettable. Surely this air drying clay wasn't as good as it gets.
My search for real clay sent me to Mullaway, a magical place to become my source for all things ceramic into the future. Once there Lyn guided me to my first bag of all round versatile clay - she asked me a load of questions that I had no answers to. All I wanted was to get my hands into that clay. I had no idea about firing, glazing or anything beyond these forms I had in my hands that needed to be shaped.
Once safely back on my verandah, I cut into my first block of clay and loudly exclaimed 'yes!'
This was the feeling I remember. I felt I was home.