Sailor Clown’s Swansong

Squaekly Clown Nose┬áThis is a raw post. Raw as in barely edited and certainly unfiltered and a bit unplanned. I was thinking of skipping out on this week’s missive. Instead, I’m going for the last moment candid reveal.

I write partly to update you loyalists, but mostly to hold myself accountable. I am not afeared of what’s next in my studio, I just don’t know the details.

Here it is right now: I am pretty much done with the ceramic cans. The faux metal trompe l’oeil work I have invested the past 7+ years perfecting and cultivating has reached a culmination. I cannot lift a cutoff wire to another bag of clay with the intention of making more of them, They must needs evolve. Not sure if they are going away altogether or morphing, but it will be fun to explore.

Thing is, I am leaving one definition of artistic self expression off at the curb and driving away without another fare to replace it. And while I think I should know what I am about, I am realizing I don’t and it is completely wonderful – no, crucial! – to not know.

As it turns out, I cannot abide predictable production. And that’s what the cans – with notable exceptions – had become. I want to put red foam clown noses on all the ones I have left (because I still love and play with them!) and forgive me if I do. It will be a sign of growth and maturity.

This year away has taught me that expectations and deadlines ultimately diminish me. That the long and winding, but deliciously open, road is balm to my creative soul. I wrassle with the irony that both are necessary.

So, here’s to the Glorious Unknown, the place I must go. Here’s to the remelting of old candles into new ones. My sextant tells me a course correction is critical to staying afloat. Cannot wait to see where I drift.

–Liz Crain, who’s bound to find happiness, glory and creative fulfillment wherever she sails, even among the clown-nosed faux metal ceramic vessels.

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8 thoughts on “Sailor Clown’s Swansong

  1. Whatever you do or wherever you go – Happy Trails to you. Good Luck and congratulations!

    1. Thank you Janet!!! It will still be with clay, still contain the core elements I love: words, color, rust. But my sense is it will be more organic, less manufactured. More playful, less trompe l’oeil. I’m completely looking forward to what happens, now that I have gotten utterly honest about it all. Let’s both watch it unfold!

  2. It’s fun to step off into the unknown sometimes – especially when you don’t have to throw yourself into the river current all at once, but can move easily from the known shore and into the shallows before the plunge.

    1. Just like a toddler moving further away from Mom and then running back and clinging! Thrilling and scary and thrilling again.

  3. Exciting times ahead… That is the life as an Artist… Always exploring and looking for the new idea which brings with it the rush of excitement. When I felt at a lost with clay and I turned to glass for a while. Regardless of what you will do I am very sure you will be excellent. Looking forward to seeing your new work already.

    1. Thanks Jo, So far so good! I am definitely making space for anything to arise. Right now I wanting to mix up the ceramics with some other media: fiber? glass? collage? Experimenting with a bunch of things and it’s pretty heady!

  4. That is exciting news! So glad I got some of your cans as well as portrait mugs. Looking forward to seeing what other wonders you conjure!

    1. Thanks Marlene! Your delighted smile when you were in my booth and my Open Studio showroom stays with me. I hope my new work will do that too, if only virtually now that you’re an Oregonian.

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