Around the Block
The first time I really started thinking about this body of work was when I was living in Eagle Rock, California. After my infant daughter would go to sleep walk’ to get some quiet time. What I was really doing was going to the liquor store to buy a beer or some wine and I didn’t want to be around my then partner. I wasn’t proud of my walks back and forth. Each time on the way there I would feel my anxiety and frustraition bouncing off my frontal lobe like a guy banging his head on the wall out of confusion. The only way, or I should say, the easiest way to deal with my troubles was a 15 minuite walk to an easy beer or box of wine and a 15-20 minute walk back to the garage with a slight buzz. I wasn’t proud of those walks and I wanted to confront that feeling.
At the same time, I was teaching middle & high school ceramics, remotely. Each student had different needs. Some had full-on home studios to work in. Others shared a room with brothers and sisters. Others still went between multiple homes. I was confronted with this problem of equalilty. So, I asked each student to take the 25lbs of clay they were alloted and just do something with it. Toss it out your window. Push it down the stairs. Roll it across your driveway. Run over it in a car. Anything, and that would be thier work.
So, that got me to thinking. the clay we have, the clay we use, comes in uniform 25lb bags nicely air tight with a twist keeping the clay from drying out. That block, that brick, that single clay unit can be used for anything. Is it a block of clay for a potter to make pots? Sure. Is it also a block of clay for a sculptor to make a sculpture? Why not? Is it a block of clay that a person, any person, could use to do whatever the hell they wanted with it? Yea, I’d say so.
I started to look at my walks as something I did with my time. But I wanted a record of that time, so I could see it. Not just see it, but feel it. This is where the clay comes in. I decided to use a 25lb block of clay to map out my walk. I wanted it as an object that was formed by the journey to-and-from that would be a record my time and energy.