Explore Beyond Ceramics

As artists we have a tendency to get “stuck” in our medium. At first this single-mindedness is extremely valuable, we use it to master the craft of our chosen medium and begin gaining technical competency. Then we need that focus as we put our acquired skills to use creating work in our own voice.

Our work develops and grows and grows and then all of a sudden it stagnates. One day we look around and realize that our work – what was once a new and fresh expression of our vision – has become, well, production. Repetitious. Old news.

That is why it is so important as artists, and really in any creative field, to get out of our own heads every once in awhile. Do something completely different.

I’m not advocating changing mediums completely unless that happens to strike your fancy, but I’m am standing on my soapbox to say that there is great value in learning about making jewelry or painting with watercolors or, heck, creating a garden to furthering your work.

If you’re not able to spend funds on a new workshop or class then the internet can be your very best friend for getting started. Obviously, we’re all familiar with YouTube and the plethora of tutorials available there, but beyond that I’d love to give everyone a starting place – the website of Will Kemp.

I stumbled upon Will’s website in my quest to pull together some handouts for my intermediate class on the elements of art. Will is an award-winning artist and has a ton of experience too lengthy to get into here, but he is an absolute genius at teaching and explaining concepts so that anyone can understand and implement them.

Yes, he speaks to two-dimensional examples of the points he’s illustrating.

Yes, there is nary a ceramic form to be found unless it’s the subject of a still life example.

Yet, that is, in my humble opinion, what makes it absolutely magical.

The combination of refreshing myself on composition, color theory, etc coupled with the lack of clay really helps clear out my head. Suddenly, and completely unstuck.

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