I don’t know what’s up with me and ceramics these days. I’ve been making some things I really have mixed feelings about once they’re out of the kiln, but I have a total blast while making them.
This one happened on Monday night, when I was shaping the largest pot I’ve ever built, and ended up scraping through, making a hole in the side. It was quite a relief, in a way, because although I was technically successful in building this pot, the shape was boring me, but now I had to take a sudden sharp turn in order to rescue it. Drama in the pottery studio!
I’m not sure if cutting more holes and turning them into funny faces is a good rescue, but it was loads of fun, and I’m looking forward to glazing it much more than I was when it was just a big pot.
Call it an escape, call it therapy, call it ‘the new Pilates’, but I just know that making things that serve no intention outside of the pleasure and struggle of making them (in true Making Friday style) is exactly the antidote I need, now that it seems our lives, pleasures and tastes are increasingly viewed as opportunities for commodification and monetization, and our relationships are just transactions.
I’ve been feeling this most especially on Instagram, which used to be a place I’d go to discover creativity and to share visual delight, but now I suspect, rather cynically, of having been devised as a means of harvesting my tastes in order to better shove adverts in my face. And because I have a business of my own, of course I have started to see it as a selling tool too, which has twisted a former pleasure into another thing on the To Do list. Dammit!
But I’m not ready to ditch the Insta, and still think the app has a lot to offer, especially if those of us who love the discovery and connection side of it don’t allow our own approach to be twisted by the ads. So I’ll be working to Keep Instagram Real, remembering to share the weird stuff, the people behind the scenes, and how we spend our days here, because in the end, even behind the slickest presentation, all businesses are the result of human endeavour – a constant joint act of creation by real people, doing their best every day. Which is pretty cool.
Also: more uncommodified, pointless, inconsequential silliness that tickles a fellow human’s funnybone can’t be a bad thing. Just ask Wavy Gravy.
Find Skinny laMinx on Instagram at @skinnylaminx.