Accidentally Building a Theme

Have you ever started an art project not knowing how it will turn out to be?

Usually I am the type of person to go with the flow and figure out what to create as I go along with the art making process. My intentions, regarding art making with clay, have a specific intention at the beginning of the project but tend to lead to something different by the end. One thing I have learned is that art may not turn out the same as the intentional design. As a growing artist in ceramics, one thing about what I do is the use of themes. Since I am an artist who starts with an idea yet goes with the flow, I end up creating artworks that all have at least one little thing in common.

The most common theme that I have been indulging in is with mini balls of clay. I came up with this theme as I was continuing my work with a serving plate. I was sitting in the studio wondering to myself “how do I make this plate more interesting” so I started to play around with different shapes. When I figured out I enjoyed the idea of using balls, I placed them around the edge of the plate and around its feet.

As I currently continue to wait for my plate to finish drying I started to create another mug. For this mug I decided to stick with the ball theme and I placed them within the walls. This mug is a work in progress so it may seem simple. However, my intentions are to continue the clay ball theme around the handle as well. Once these projects are completed, I am eager to see what I can create next that will follow my theme. Such a simple design can make a difference and by using a theme, all of my pieces can come together to create a series of different objects.

Some artists enjoy creating a theme for their work from the beginning, others do not. Some might even dislike this idea of a theme and scratch it completely. I hope there are other artists like me out there, having a general idea in their mind yet creating something totally different in the end. To me there is a thrill in the idea that things may not always be what they seem.

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