How I Infuse my Organic Ceramic Sculpture with Aliveness
I write about inspiration a lot in my blog. I have found that much to my surprise my clients are very interested in where the ideas for my organic art come from….
Inspiration for my Fine Art Sculpture....
In the last three years since moving to Asheville to pursue organic ceramic sculpture as a career, I have realized many many things, but one of the most important I think is that modern fine art is really a reflection of three things: 1) how an organic artist’s mind works; 2) the emotional state of the artist who makes it; and 3) how that artist chooses to disperse their emotional energy into their modern fine art.
How Organic Artists convert Emotion into Beauty
Let me talk a bit about the third and how it connect to what draws people to organic sculpture and modern fine art since it’s been heavy on my mind recently….
As I’ve grown more comfortable with myself and with the fine techniques of making ceramic sculpture, I’ve heard many comments from friends and clients that my work looks like its alive. Many say that my organic sculptures look like sea creatures moving along the ocean floor. These statements have caused me to reflect about not only what quality it is that makes people feel moved by organic ceramic sculpture, but also what makes great modern fine art in general.
Two Artists that Inspire my Organic Art
When thinking about these things, two artists have come to mind:
Dale Chihuly, a Master of Organic Sculpture
For those of you not familiar with Dale Chihuly…he’s a revolutionary artist who propelled glass blowing into a modern fine art. His work has a bold alive quality to it that is absolutely breathtaking. This past year I stumbled across one of his flowing glass organic sculptures in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and I was completely intrigued. Since then I have often ruminated on what draws people to his work…and my latest answer to that question is that many people (myself included) are craving a feeling of comfort in the flow and movement of life. His work allows its viewers a moment in time where movement (i.e. change) becomes a harmonious flow. It becomes a thing of beauty and a moment of reflection.
People are looking for those quiet moments of reflection…moments where change becomes a thing of beauty and not a stressful thing. I think that’s why organic sculpture is so appealing. After all nature is about constant change, but it happens in at a slow pace that is soothing to the soul and not the quick pace that technology brings to our lives that can so often be overwhelming. Organic sculpture and organic modern fine art allows people to bring a symbol of the slow natural ‘organic’ pace of change into their lives and celebrate it as a thing of beauty.
Adele, a Master of Evoking Emotion
Adele, a enormously successful musician (and one of my favorites), sings deeply moving and melodic songs. What makes her music so moving? Well…her new song Hello has been blasting through the speakers of my car and in my studio lately and every time it comes on I feel frozen in time and get completely caught up in the meaning of the song. I think its primarily two things. She’s singing about pain and worries that we all have …past relationships that haunt us because of regret, but more than she’s expressing her lyrics in a such a way that you know that her pain is ice berg deep. She’s keenly making you aware of her emotions but at the same time she’s holding herself back…just enough so that the song is beautiful and not a series of screams and fits (which let’s face it we’ve all done at the end of a relationship).
I realized this week that the connection between what makes Adele’s music great and what makes organic sculpture great is the restraint in the name of making something beautiful. It’s the channeling of the organic artist’s emotions in a focused enough way that brings about beauty and a work of art that moves people. In this way, people can ‘feel’ the emotion beneath and at the same time feel transformed by its beautiful packaging. The pain is transformed into inspiration.
Transforming Emotion into Moving Modern Ceramic Sculpture
This thought process has made me realize how much emotional energy I focus outwardly when I’m sculpting a ceramic table lamp or a modern wall sculpture. I use the clay to channel whatever worry, pain, or joy is most in most present in my consciousness on that day. When working with clay in its rawest form, I like to take the whole day and create multiple organic sculptures because then I am allowed the time to go through the entire array of emotions that need to escape from my consciousness. It’s quite meditative.