So last fall while driving through Eastern Montana I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for a clay workshop. (It is amazing what you can accomplish with a laptop and wireless modem when you are in the passenger seat.) Ever since my experiments with concrete earlier last summer I had been thinking about trying kiln fired clay in the hopes of making something that would be a little less susceptible to the elements.
I ended up taking a weekend workshop with the very talented artist Thaddeus Erdahl at Saratoga Clay Arts Center. It was my blind date with clay. TJ is a wonderful teacher and the Clay Center is an amazing place. I left the workshop wanting more so signed up for a six week clay sculpting class with Lars Turin, another amazing artist and teacher. I had been thinking a lot about Hermes and Joseph Campbell's description of Hermes as your guide in finding your true path. Dogs are associated with Hermes so that is what I focused on in my first attempts with clay. This is who emerged:
It's now a year later and my studio is filled with ceramic animals of all shapes and sizes, I have tried six different types of clay, have had my first kiln explosion, pit fired a batch of pigeons (that's another blog post) and am excited to be "on the scent" and following this trail to see where it leads.