If you know me, you know that I am incessantly doodling and scribbling pictures. Put me at a table with a paper tablecloth and crayons or a pen and you’ll soon find that it’s covered with random drawings.
Rather than call myself any sort of artist, however, I think “cartoonist” is probably more accurate, and a little known fact is that I did have a short-lived underground comic strip that circulated while I was in high school. Until the teachers caught on, that is.
Never got much into painting, though, so it’s been fun to spend some time with a good friend at a paint-your-own-pottery place (Ceramics in the City in Denver).
And the results? I think they’re pretty good…
What I enjoy about painting ceramics is that patience pays off in a way that rarely seems true in life. I know that Gladwell reports, in Outliers, that you need 10,000 hours to get really good at something, but generally we seem to live in a society where more, faster, quicker, shortcuts are what counts, not taking your time and working slowly and thoughtfully on a project.
Let me show you what I did and you can tell me if you think it came out well (be kind if you didn’t, though!)
Here’s my three-switch wallplate painted, but not fired in the kiln:
After they placed it in the kiln and cooked it, then added a glaze and baked it again:
Even better, when I went to pick it up with my son G-, we got sucked into thing and ended up spending a few hours doing new pieces that are even now sitting queued for the kiln. He painted a pencil box, very spiffy, and I painted a spoon holder with a not dissimilar style. I’ll report how it came out when I get it.
What I will say is that the owner came over, looked at the finished switchplate and watched me painting the spoon rest, then said “do you want to paint a few demo pieces for us?”
Maybe she was just being a good salesperson, but I’m hooked. This stuff’s pretty darn fun, and nothing digital in site. Imagine!