Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Connect the DOTs

My theme for the next few months is "Connect the Dots". I tend to work on things in isolated islands of intense activity. One day one thing, the next another. I have so many areas of focus that it all becomes rather disjointed. Like dots on a page with only hints of a picture around the edges, and no numbers to tell how to connect them.

I've named the clusters of dots, like constellations, to help me make more sense of them:
  • Heart and Spiral - my songwriting, performing and recording activities
  • Sacred Shards - pottery work and sales
  • Effusive Muse Publishing - my writing project and workshop development
  • Sound Krayons Music - the teaching studio, vocal and songwriting workshops
  • Keys for a Cause - social activism (related to our non-profit LUNCH, Local United Network to Combat Hunger)
  • Gaia Luna - the garden that's more than a garden

Then there are the dots that are just splashes of me, that don't necessarily fit in anywhere.

Constellations, all, clusters of light in the sky over my head, for navigation, telling of meaning and stories, connected through imagination, through action. Right now, though, mostly just dots, disjointed fragments of accomplishment and infrastructure.

How about this? DOTs: Disjointed Organizational Tools

Sounds so corporate.

Sometimes, if I let myself become distracted by a troublesome person, I find I've connected with dots that don't belong to me.

In the past I would let these things hang in isolation in my mind, not allowing myself to see a pattern and it's impact on me. This takes it's toll. I'll never know how many hours, how many days I've lost with thoughtless words and actions reverberating in my head.

I've begun to see the ways I've allowed other people's dots to become part of my design. I've started to recognize where I've drawn lines connecting with their dots instead of my own.

Seeing this, I can choose when to use my eraser and make changes.

I hope I am better equipped to consciously choose to connect, or not, in the future.

My dots. Their dots.

My job in this life is to own my dots, to add some of my own choosing, to draw in the lines that transform dots into meaningful pictures, then use them to navigate toward my destination, whatever that turns out to be.

(c)2007 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing

Saturday, February 10, 2007

SACRED SHARDS: Fresh Slabs & New Directions

I went to the pottery studio late yesterday afternoon. It was the first time I'd gone in many weeks, because I'd been sick.

It's amazing how doing something you love can be so energizing. I dragged myself over there yesterday, feeling tired, but knowing that I'd feel even more disappointed and frustrated if another day went by without working on my pottery. I ended up working there for nearly an hour and a half, wedging and rolling out 5, 1/4 inch thick slabs, (3 white, 2 red) working slowly and methodically, enjoying the stillness of the studio and the company of another woman who'd come there to glaze her pieces.

Rather than using cardboard scraps to transport the slabs as I usually do (see photo above), this time I took several small 14x15 inch squares of drywall I'd prepared by ceiling the edges with thin strips of duct tape (very bad to get plaster in clay--it explodes in the kiln). Each slab was transferred from the SlabMats onto a square of drywall then slid into a 16x16 inch square zipper bag purchase from the Uline catalog. I've used some regular drywall, some waterproof, to see which will work best.

When I got home, I was re-energized enough to work for about 3 hours before calling it a night. I sat at the kitchen table, near the woodstove, playing and stamping designs using my most recently fired hand-carved stamps. This morning I have 13 new pendants and 11 new Christmas ornaments ready to go over to the studio for bisque firing, all from just one slab of white clay. These are designs I've not tried before.

Usually, I work almost exclusively in red clay. I like the natural, earthy look is gives. By experimenting with the white clay this time, I began to look at my designs differently, to feel free to try new ideas. I'm hoping to shake myself loose from the things I've already done, to build in new directions.

The pieces that have been selling well, the button box pendants, are things I began to develop nearly 2 years ago. Of course, I'll still continue to make these. They have a story that continues to resonate for me. At the same time, I'm ready to find an artistic direction that reflects who I am in the here and now. I'm excited to discover what that will be.

©2007 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing