There is one thing I never want to do again, and that is move my studio. Of course, that’s what I said the last time I moved, and here I am again, discovering just how much one can cram into a small basement studio, attempting to organize it and pack it and downsize it (unsuccessfully), and preparing both physically and mentally to cart it over to a new basement studio space of more or less the same size.
In going through this exercise, I’ve also rediscovered many projects of varying scale and complexity that were started and just never had the momentum behind them to get finished. There are things as small as plaster and bisque stamps that were based on grand plans and layered surfaces, but they never got used for one reason or another. They have been out in plain sight in the studio, but I just stopped seeing them. And there are those crates and boxes in the deep recesses that contain several iterations of a form or surface exploration, but which I forgot even existed; tests I’ve run three times because I forgot they were already done and packed away (ostensibly for reference); pots I always meant to make new lids for and probably should have just thrown away at the time (still going to make that lid—really); sketches for pots that don’t even make sense at this point, in fact they almost don’t even look like pots.
I’m realizing that, even though these things have been unused and ignored, they are far from useless. I’ll take them with me as I shift between spaces because they are a record of the past, even if I don’t exactly know where they fit in that past or what role they were originally meant to play. But now that time has passed, that matters less or not at all. This is one of the great things about creative endeavors, they can teach you things about yourself now as well as later—maybe even new things that were never part of your original intent. The best possible outcome in seeing these half-finished projects is that we rediscover something we could not understand at the time, but now have the necessary tools or insight to complete, and so a reinvigorating adventure begins. Of course, you or I may not have those insights or tools, but hopefully in these cases we’re wise enough to think hard before just disregarding something that was previously discounted or relegated to the status of one-time diversion. Me, I’m taking it all with me, so I can get to those insights and revelations later. Right now, I need to get all of these pots and buckets of glaze moved. – Sherman Hall, editor.