Friday, 20 June 2008

A Midsummer Night's Nightmare

This week my pottery class took place the last time before summer break, so I did not start a new project. I worked a bit on my cachepot, mainly I did some carving and a little sanding on the rim, so it's ready for bisque firing. I also completed the work on my rooster.

I painted it with manganese dioxide (At least I think that's what this substance is. It's called Braunstein in German.) I hope I don't reveal too much when I tell you I already used this stuff for my secret surprise, which is finished now. (Perhaps I can show it here quite soon, so you can see what I blabber about all the time.) It did not break to pieces in process and luckily it has no cracks! I'm very pleased with it, but the decoration lacks some contrast due to the fact that I used manganese dioxide for the first time and couldn't estimate the effect of it properly. Everything I do still is very experimental. Now my rooster is the next try. I painted it with this stuff, especially the carvings and then smudged and washed off most of the paint with a sponge, which makes it look more grubby than I intended. After firing it should look a little brighter.

Despite avoiding heavy claywork this time my wrists feel like I had a brutal fight and also my right elbow cries for some rest, so I guess from the physical point of view I need this break now very badly but I have so many ideas in my mind that make it feel like an unfair restriction to my creative needs. But in fact also mentally I need a break, but there certainly will be no holidays. For weeks and even months I'm not able to sleep soundly and I'm getting more and more tired. I can sleep, but it seems I totally skip the phases of relaxing deep sleep and instead stress myself by dreaming several extremely weird and very cinematographic action films and thrillers a night, containing a great deal of violence, cruelty, suspense and twists. I wish I'd be able to write a script of them, so they would be at least good for something. Those scenes don't resemble my everyday life very much, but they sharpen the atmosphere of it and I guess some of the things that occupy my mind at day (and in my opinion aren't publicly aware enough) transform to those nightmares and still keep my mind busy at night, but without finding a solution.
I think of Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" a lot (and about how warmongers deal with it) and about how seldom current war crimes and social conditions are reflected in art. (I myself don't even know how to do it.) Some of the best and most commonly known examples certainly are the works of Banksy (I spent yesterday evening with his book again.) but I don't know of many more contemporary artists with an impact and it bothers me.

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