Sunday, July 10, 2011

Clam Lab


    It's nice to look at pretty things on a Sunday morning. I first discovered Clam Lab while browsing the ceramics & pottery section of etsy for inspiration on my own work in the ceramics studio. I immediately fell in love, and I often find that I keep visiting their etsy shop, especially on days when I feel an inspirational void (and not just when it comes to my ceramic work). I love the organic shapes and the freshness of the glazes. The way the pieces seem slightly off balance and their subtle imperfections perfectly reveal the hand of the artist. Every piece uniquely embodies the perfect balance between blemishes, simplicity, and grace.
    Too often my posts aren't an example of  “a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay” , in which spirit my blog was created. We get to distracted with pretty things, and neat videos, and interesting designs, and cool knick-knacks. While none of these things are really terrible, it's not a way to live an inspiring life. These are the sort of things I find when I look for inspiration, but they tend to leave me feeling a little more lost and dizzy than when I first started. It's sort of like "keeping up with the Joneses", but for artists. Maybe everybody, and most certainly myself, need to take a humbling step back and take a look at this totally imperfect and terribly beautiful world that we all live in, then take a deep breathe and appreciate it all. And if we do, we might makes something as beautiful as what you see above.


       On a side note, Clam Lab studios also has a wonderful "clam blog" aaaand the artist behind it all, Clair Catillaz, was featured on etsy with an amazingly cool and insightful interview. My two favorite quotes are:

-(when asked about the name of her future memoir) "Something witty and dashing, but I hope that by the time I am distinguished enough to write a memoir, I will be humble enough to leave it unpublished."

-"Anyone who works in clay knows about letting go. So much can go wrong. Pots break, kilns misfire — it’s foolish to be attached to a fixed outcome. The only survival strategy is to be in love with the process. I make products, but my real work is the practice."

       While following Clam Lab for at least the past year (Clam Lab was only founded about two years ago), it is amazing and inspirational to see its growth and recognition. One bitter sweet detail that I've noticed is the rise in prices. It's disappointing to realize I could have bought the same amazing pieces for about half the price a year ago, but it's awesome to see that some artist recognize the value of their work. There is an AMAZING article about the value of handmade crafts that EVERY artist should read. Aaaand, because I know most of you won't read it, I'm obligated to leave you with a break-down:
-You must value what you are making.

-When you set your prices too low, you are undercutting everyone that creates handmade goods.

-You took your two hands + the required tools + out of love for the craft + your developed talent you then made something beautiful + useful.

-Create something that you love, value what you do + others will value it as well.

I know I rambled on more than usual this today, guess I had a lot on my mind... Hope you all had a wonderful and creative Sunday!


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