Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Accidents

One of the things I teach to my students at Clementine Studio is the idea of 'happy accidents'. Quite often things don't turn out the way we want them to. The paint spills, our hand moves, the table is bumped. All sorts of things can happen that messes with our vision of how we wanted our work to look. I always encourage students to look at the 'accident' and try to think of it in a different way. If they intended to draw a cat, but it doesn't look like one, what could they turn it into instead? Sometimes with the right attitude, a little creativity, and a willingness to change an idea, sometimes the work can turn out even better. 

 I found this note taped to my work on the shelf at the pottery lab:

The cup I had thrown was certainly knicked! It was in the leather-hard stage so it was not repairable. I examined the dent in the side, felt it a little, and after the disappointment and upset wore off I realized that I actually liked the ding. My thumb fit perfectly in the indention. So I put a handle on it, then added slip trail around the dent to make it look intentional. Now it has become one of my favorite mugs!

This happy accident has inspired a new series I call 'Ding Mugs'. I throw the cup form then squeeze it, bump it, karate chop it- somehow give it a good knick! A lot of my work is very detailed and precise. I don't leave a lot to chance, so my Ding Mugs are a great way for me to practice letting go. And it's fun to bang up my work!

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