This week I was shown the very impressive timetable which one of my fellow students had produced in order to make sure that she had everything ready for the various shows with which we are involved. It sent a cold shudder down my spine! On the one hand I can completely see the sense in knowing what needs doing when. On the other, in my case I still need to feel free to come up with one last great idea. If I was to set myself a timetable I suspect it would have the most disastrous consequences. The truth is that I am not really very pleased with much of the work that I have made for the final show and I am still waiting for a lightning bolt to strike. It would have no chance if I had an intricate plan which I felt I had to follow. On the other hand, I suppose it is helpful to have some idea from the point of view of getting everything dry, fired and finished or else you are at serious risk of ending up with what my very first ceramics tutor, Simon Taylor, at Weston College Somerset called ‘hot pots on plinths’.
In point of fact I suspect that Simon might well be the same kind of maker as me – inspiration striking at the final moment giving him just enough time to get the best pieces through the making process before the critical deadline whereas the lovely student concerned with setting off this train of thought makes complicated moulds which have taken weeks to construct. She has had to plan her route to the finish with infinite care to be sure that her moulds were ready to use at the crunch moment. One look at my worktable is enough to make it quite clear that inspiration is still some way off!
On the other hand, my ‘To Do’ list is immense and includes among other things preparation for Wimbledon Artists Studios open weekend which is now only 5 days away, drying and firing the last of my more solid work, getting all my marketing blurb in order for both New Designers which is in 6 weeks and preparing something to put on a plinth or two at our final show which is takes place at Candid Arts Gallery in Islington in seven weeks.
More on that anon but suffice to say at this time that the space is vast and I had better get making or I run the risk of being really rather embarrassed! – I feel a timetable coming on!!
On the up side, my wonderful daughter and most important critic arrived at Wimbledon Artists Studios yesterday armed with sustenance to prevent emaciation setting in during the biannual transformation of my studio into a gallery for next weekend. She sat looking at my work and gently but firmly reminded me that perhaps in all the pressure I might have lost sight of what it is that feels like beauty to me. She is so right – what ever happened to fragile, floating vulnerable forms with flowing lines? Right, six weeks to make amends then!