Thursday, February 19, 2015

potter files: it's time for tea

My work in the ceramics studio continues. Today I'd like to show you work from the class I took in the fall. The highlight of the session was a ceramic Project Runway. Each class took up a project - some worked on pitchers, others on goblets. My class took up teapots.

For a beginners' class we're pretty gutsy because teapots are complicated even though they look harmless. You start with main body of the teapot. Then you make the spout, which is an ultra thin cylinder with a wide base. To attach the spout, you remove its base, poke holes into the body of the pot and then join the two in way that the mouth of the spout is higher than the pot. Next, you make the handle and attach it. Finally you make the lid, which is a pretty daunting task too. Post bisque, glaze, kiln and prayers, your teapot is ready. I must mention that the teapot I made works.

In addition to the teapot project, I made largish jars with lids and some not so large ones too. Also I made some open bowl/ jar/ pot things. I tried to improve my centering, something I will continue working on. I also worked on bringing up the clay to create a cylinder. I'm getting better, bit by bit. Sometimes you forget something basic and start all over. That's just how it is. But the hurting back and the frustration over the pot that collapsed on you are temporary. One by one out come forms, even if not perfect, and the joy you feel is like the blue sky after seven days of rain.
On this happy note I give you the class of fall 2014! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

whale song

whale song,
acrylic, ink and chalk on paper, 24x18", 2014, priya vadhyar

There's a secret place,
Where the heart sings,
Whales go there too,
Always alone.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 and notes to self for 2015

It's that time of the year again; the yearly ritual of brushing off one's lassitude to look at life in the face. 2014 has been a good year. Some of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2014 were - create a body of work, exhibit in group shows, learn pottery, create a website and apply to juried shows. Creating a body of work was the most important goal, and so I paid it the most attention. I have spent many long hours (not long enough) in the studio. Despite the periodic frustration, doubt and procrastination, I did pretty well. I created a body of work this year and am still working on it. I exhibited thrice this year. (not bad) The pottery goal was fun. As for juried shows, I haven't been lucky this year. I didn't get around to creating a website for myself either. Perhaps 2015 will be the year for both goals.

I continued volunteering at Columbia Art Center (CAC) this year; my weekly appointment with the world outside the studio. As a volunteer, I've done some interesting projects/ tasks at CAC, but usually I help them with their inventory. In June this year, CAC asked me to give a talk to teachers and facilitators of a kids' art camp. I talked to the group about my work, after which we discussed subjects such as self-expression, success and failure, spontaneity, the creative process, the inner censor and taking risks. We ended with a painting project. It was a fun event. More than anything the experience told me that I could put myself out there. Scary, but fun.

2014 also marked the fourth anniversary of A Work in Progress. Four years! Sure I haven't given the blog as much attention as I should have, but still. With the new year I promise, dear blog, to shower you with more love. 

Now that there's no stopping 2015, I have a list of things I want to do this year. Paint on larger canvases, return to printmaking, go deeper into silence and stillness, exhibit in India, participate in exhibitions and apply to juried shows, create a website, and blog regularly. Work has taught me some important lessons this year and I want to keep these in mind in 2015: 

  • When the resistance to begin work arises, dip into work regardless. The edges of any fear will begin to fade and the next step becomes inevitable. 
  • Staying in the studio even when things are not going your way is vital. 
  • Mundane activities like clearing your table can coax the answer hiding inside you to reveal itself. 
  • Silliness and lighthearted defiance are great allies when the all serious ego tries to overpower you. 
  • Everything takes its time.
  • Everything flows into each other. Life is seamless.

I leave you now with some my favourite photos of 2014. Wish you a very happy 2015. May you have a year of creativity, joy, laughter, wisdom and peace. See you in 2015!