Monday 1 December 2014

Thoughts About The Challenge

The Fish A Day Challenge for the whole Month of November is finished. While posting my last fish, #30, I felt a bit sad and tremendously relived at the same time. This November was a very intense month. I drifted between feelings of overwhelming euphoria and deep, abysmal exhaustion, with all sorts of subtle emotions between these extremes.

The challenge turned out to be more difficult than expected. Time was the resource that I lacked the most during this month. On one hand there are different processes when working with clay that had to be followed (like letting the piece become leather-hard before carving or shaping it) and on the other there were the minor technical details like catching the daylight for photographing, editing, publishing and being on time.

Originally I intended to write about the process of creation and the techniques that were involved, but this fell through so I concentrated on creating only. At the same time I didn’t’ want to have my son suffer because of his mother's fishy business. So I ended up being a fish maker during the late night hours when my boy was asleep.

The great thing about this challenge is that I wasn’t in it alone. I am glad that the very talented fellow potter Melker Hansson joined me in this challenge so we could share our impressions and struggles. He made amazing wheel thrown fish pieces that he "glazed" digitally. This way one could get the idea of what the pieces may look like in the end. Do not forget that all the pieces were created on a daily base so you only got to see the green ware. You can check Melker’s site to see his work.

The biggest benefit of being engaged with one theme so intensely – fish in this case – is that one idea brings you to the next and all these endless options explode before you. Creativity comes from creation. The more you create, the more creative you get. As Julia Cameron describes it, you somehow gain the entrance to the abundant source of creativity and all you have to do is to serve yourself.

There are so many more fish shapes I haven’t tried. Also I did too less wheel-thrown pieces than planned. This challenge may have come to an end but I will surely continue making fish themed ceramics. Also, I still owe you the final glazed fish, so stay tuned.

I am attending a craftsman market in Berne at Minster platform this Sunday the 7th of December (10:00 - 17:00), so if you are around you can come over to say hello and see some of the fish pieces in the flesh (they are still swimming in the hot kiln as I write this).