Thursday, April 25, 2013

How I work

We have a big project going on in the backyard.  It is taking weeks for the workers to transform our modest patio into the palatial castle we envision; well that may be an overstatement but it will be wonderful.  I notice that when it was quitting time, they walked away, the section unfinished and the area left sort of untidy.

You know, it doesn't bother me.  The reason is that I looked at how I work in my own studio.  My work takes days and days to complete.  I find often that I am working on a figure and it is tedious, however satisfying, but I will reach a point where my mind says..."I'm done for the day".  I do not clean up and I do not finish the section; I turn off the radio, the lights, and close the door.

Sometimes before I walk out, I prepare several pieces of silkscreened glass to fire overnight in the kiln.  The silkscreens are left on the counter, the powder needs to be cleaned up and the counter is usually a mess.  But still, I walk out, just like that.

The next day, I know right where to start.  I don't have to think of the next thing to do, I just complete the pattern that I was working on.  Then when it is finished, that is when I might decide, I need to clear off a counter and sweep the floor.  It is as though, I must clear my mind to move on.  Or, I will simply move on to the next patterned figure because I am in the groove now, my mind has woken up, with the help of coffee of course.

I see that is somewhat how these men are working on the complex paver design of the patio.  The walkaway in the evening and jump back in where they left off the day before.

For me, leaving the studio in mid stream helps me jump right in the next day.  It is like a bookmark in a book.  I don't have to get to the next chapter.  In fact sometimes I get to a really complicated or interesting place and realize..."I need to save this for when I am fresh" and I close the book.  The studio is like that too.