I had coffee this morning with Anja Hertle. She’s a local mosaic artist (see her website http://www.anjahertle.com/Home.html). We met a few years ago when we both worked on the Northumberland Studio Tour, and I was happy to learn that she could use the pots I made that didn’t work out and turn them into something beautiful. Ever since we’ve made this arrangment I don’t feel the least bit sorry to take the hammer to something I don’t like the look of. In fact, generally if you see one of her trees it’s bound to have a reclaimed teapot included somewhere!
Whenever you get two artists/artisans together, there’s lots of discussion about why we do what we do in the first place … and, even though we had lots of chuckles about this, it’s a topc that most of us in the arts question on a regular basis. We’re a funny bunch. We bemoan the lack of sales and regular income, the amount of background work our ‘real work’ takes (as in set up, take down, promotion through various and sundry medias), the lack of recognition, the business bookwork, etc., but at the same time we just can’t give it up. It’s like “visions of sugarplums” dancing in our heads. There’s always another method, another tool, another topic to work out. Sometimes these visions keep us up at night! Sometimes we even make stuff that we know that there is absolutely no market for (that not even our mothers would want!) and if we’re lucky, we’ve got an Anja Hertle to take the discards and turn them into something beautiful.
Anja had a look at the work I’m doing in the studio today. The painting of the ‘sperm teaset’ was underway and almost finished. She said she’d have a hard time doing my kind of work — because I really don’t know what something is actually going to look like finished until it’s come out of the kiln — but for me every time I open a kiln it’s a little like Christmas. I’ve had some Christmas’s that were pretty crap, but I really don’t remember them. The ones I remember are the ones when the food was fantastic, the kids were home, the friends and presents were overflowing. It’s the same with the kiln openings. The ones I remember are the ones where the work makes me do a happy dance. The others — they go to Anja … everyone’s happy!
Hope you’re having a great day too … and here’s a little video of the painting of the pot!