Breathe …is there anything more important?

2Dec/103

The Intention: Perfection or… Art and Control

One of my clay friends is always attempting to make the perfect pot. She frets and sands and frets and sands. All her pieces are so precise and made with such attention to detail; but then...they go into the kiln (pictured below), to be subjected to a trial-by-fire with temperatures as high as 2350 degrees. They come out with beautifully hardened glazes, vitrified clay bodies and many times a bit warped.

Gas Kiln

The bowl pictured below was perfectly round when I made it. This is how it came out of the kiln.

Bowl

Is this not like life?  We start out with good intentions aiming at perfection. We want our lives to be just so and then our experiences affect us and we aren't perfect anymore; neither is life, but perhaps, like this bowl, we have more character.

I was giving my perfectionist friend a bad time about her attempts at creating perfect pots. She protested and said that this was the only thing in her life she had control of, so she was going to make her clay creations as perfect as possible. I had to give her credit for a good rationale and I immediately backed-off.

Isn't it ultimately the desire for control that makes us make art? However, the thing about firing clay pots, especially in a gas kiln,  is that when we fire them we give up control. What happens is either wonderful or... not. For me this uncertainty is part of intrigue.

15Oct/090

Fire-up your life

C:Documents and SettingsGEE1My DocumentsElementsFire.dwg Wa

"Fire," copyright JWBokman 2007 all rights reserved

"Fire is an immediate and compelling reminder of impermanence." The Science of Enlightenment," Shinzen Young

This world . . . ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measure going out. This world is eternal fire that wells up and subsides, advances and recedes, scatters and gathers. Heraclitus

Heraclitus was not talking about fire in the literal sense but about impermanence.