“Throw it til you wreck it”

I have now made it all the way to the fifth Beatles album, which is about halfway through all their albums, I believe. It has been a goal of mine to listen to all of their albums in order, and the best time to listen is when I am doing pottery. The Beatles really have helped me with creativity this year and now is the time when I start lacking in it. For some reason, I went into the school year with so many great ideas for pottery but then right around now, I hit a slump. I start to think I am out of ideas and I forget about why I ever wanted to do pottery in the first place. I mean, I really like pottery, but what’s the point? Am I just making it for the purpose of making it or do I have another reason? I’ve always felt like if there’s not a specific purpose for something I’m doing, then it’s not worth it. Sometimes I feel as though I am throwing on the pottery wheel just for the heck of it and I tell myself that is not a good reason to throw. I wish I could just be okay with not having a reason to create. I tell myself that if I am making pottery, maybe I should be selling it or teaching other people how to do it or showcasing it somewhere. There’s no point in making a bunch of pottery just for it to lay around my house. But this isn’t true. I forget that it is okay to not always have a reason and sometimes that is good because it means you are doing a practice because you enjoy it. But my point is that whenever I start to feel this way, I stop thinking of what to make when I throw. I lose motivation to make things because I feel that I have no use for it. I tell myself that I don’t need to make some random bowl, because I’ll never use it. In reality, I need to remind myself that it’s not always about the function of something, it’s more about the art. It’s not important to keep random pieces I make and let a collection grow overtime. Instead it is important to continue the practice of pottery because I know it brings me joy. So, last week I made a lot of pieces, most of them ended up being destroyed because I practiced letting go of the idea that my pieces needed to serve a purpose. Instead I simply created, just to create.

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2 Replies to ““Throw it til you wreck it””

  1. I have had those thoughts that a painting I would do would have to have a purpose. I also thought I had to have place on the wall in my house to hang it. I am taking an oil painting class and the teacher said, “Just buy canvas boards, not cheap canvases.” Her one statement has helped me let go that thought about purpose and helped me to just enjoy learning new things and enjoy the distraction from life’s problems that painting provides for me.
    Barbara Linney

  2. When the creative process runs dry, I have to find new motivation. It’s good to name that we all want to create something that has meaning and purpose, yet sometimes art is just art. It can be just about the process. I love that pottery is helping you explore these things.

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