Monday, October 18, 2010

New Toy

The studio at school got a new slab roller and now I seem to have a new toy. Its funny how those things happen. I remember when I go my first apartment by myself, no roommates. To celebrate, I got myself a new citrus juicer. I juiced every conceivable combination of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits I could come up with. I worked hard with this new toy until I got a new place that was more rent, so I had less to spend on fruit.
What does this have to do with the studio and the slab roller? I am finding that I am creating work that involves slabs of clay. Its like how many variations on a theme can I come up with only using slabs instead of a combination of methods. I am laughing at myself. What I can't understand is that I love making coil pots, and I make a lot of them. I find it so enlightening to roll coil after coil and create large bowls with them but I hate using the extruder. I need to feel the clay coils being formed and when I use the extruder I feel like I loose touch with my work. I don't seem to feel the same way about slabs.
What I also don't get is that I spent 1000. on a brand new VL Whisper wheel last year. I love the thing, but honestly, I HATE THROWING!!! I find it frustrating and something that I admit I don't really seem to have to touch for, despite working at it often. I just don't seem to understand why its so important to me? There are plenty of clay artists that don't throw.
So the studio got this new slab roller and I am making teapots, cruets, plates and bowls. I have more than I can ever carve in the two weeks time I have to complete all this work. I am drawn to keep going. So I think I will.
On another note, I was listening to Soundcheck today on my way home and totally reminiscing about mine and Kenny's days of concerts at the Bottom Line. I cannot believe they still have their web page up. When I look at the timelines of 1985-1987 I can almost hear every concert I attended. In late 1985 and all of 86 alone I was there at least every 2 weeks and I wasn't seeing Buster Poindexter. Our favorite pre/post show haunts? The ACME Bar and Grill, the Grassroots, the Peculiar Pub, the Backfence Bar, and St Marks Pizza which used to be on 3rd Ave. As I listened to the stories about the Bottom Line, I have to admit that for that year and a bit I felt like family. After Justin was born we ventured there occasionally until they closed in 2004. I was also reminded of another place we used to hang out, the Lone Star Cafe on 13th and 5th. I remember seeing acoustic Hot Tuna one night with Kenny and Paul. We sat on the stairs for the show without anyone bothering us. Then afterwards we stayed to eat their famous Chili. At the table next to us was a painfully shy and seemingly starved for conversation Jorma. He asked us about the chili, our opinion of the show, and then with us being so starstruck he retreated to have a good night. I think back on how he seemed to want to hold a conversation. Man, what I would do now to have that time back.
I often wonder what it would be like to meet my favorite rock stars, actually sit down and have a conversation with them. I know that like many being starstruck is an issue. I keep telling myself that they are just people. Thats all they want to be. What would it be like to have a meal or spend a weekend with the likes of Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Natalie Merchant or Bonnie Raitt? Just me and them, no gigs, no distractions. Would we get along? Could I handle it or would I be an ass?
If you spent any time at the Bottom Line or Max's Kansas City listen to the Soundcheck podcast, you won't be disappointed.

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