|Carved vessel, approx 6 inches tall. Unfired clay.|
Today I carved three vessels which have been drying out for the last five or six days. The weather has been so wet and damp lately, that nothing is drying out unaided..the pots I threw three days ago are still soaking wet! Such is the good old British summer; sunny and warm one minute, pouring with rain the next.
I find carving clay quite a zen-like experience as it requires complete concentration and a calm state of mind. One careless slip and the knife goes straight though the wall of the piece, and it's ruined. At the moment, I am mainly throwing vessels on the wheel and then carving them, but this is restricting the size of the piece I can make, and the extent to which it can be carved into shape. If the piece is made from a solid block of clay, it allows more freedom in shaping the vessel, but is far more time consuming and uses up enormous amounts of clay.