Two weeks ago I took my daughter and her friend for our girls camping trip to Ghost Ranch. My painting class was canceled, so on a wild whim I switched to pottery.
Our teacher was Doug DeLind. His work is primitive, his manner is infinitely patient.
We used clay from the river, rich red glossy sludge that was lining the bottom of the bed. The pottery we made was fired in this pit, in layers of sticks, donkey dung and sawdust.
Rebecca did some fire dancing to bless our pit. She sang too.
I made three houses with peek-a-boo characters. They have two faces; the one on the back side is sly.
This guy was inspired by the conversation around me. I will let you imagine what the content might have been. Let’s just say I was in very interesting company. Doug found his halo and I think it just finished him off perfectly.
Georgia O’Keefe was justifiably inspired by this landscape. It is like a very good cup of coffee: I never, never will tire of this place. It is startlingly gorgeous and delicious every single day.
The moral of this story is that I learned SO much from taking a class by default, one that I never would have chosen on my own. It was amazing working with clay in this primitive way, I felt energized by the newness of the material in my hands. I knew I could not fail, because I fully embraced my beginners mind. It was a rich experience for me.
The girls built their own fire and made their own stories. Remember being 15 and camping with your mom? No? Well, I hope my girl remembers.
If you want to share some of this landscape with me and a fine group, we will be arting it up in Taos in October for a week. Check that out here.