NIGHTMARE RE: BEAUTY
by Angie Talleyrand
I get patience is a virtue, that beauty arises from the ordeal of suffering without becoming upset. Great suggestion.
Over 15 years of making ceramics the majority* of my time and energy has gone into testing. Testing.
Testing moulded form design, then simplifying it by 90%.
Tweaking shapes to stand beautifully and handle gracefully.
Colouring porcelain slip with stain, shifting hue intensity one atom at a time until my eye agrees it’s on-point.
Signing each piece of work using a rusty dental tool I found in a gutter. As it wears down my anxiety increases because I can’t cope with the idea of testing a new stylus.
Testing glaze chemistry to get a non-scratch, soft-fat-satin texture with a surface layer .18cm thick.
Applying glaze via spray gun (no) swishing (yuck) dipping (wasteful) painting (tacky) pouring (almost) lapping (yes).
Using a scientific, data led kiln firing program knowing I struggle to follow instruction. I still have an insatiable desire to sprinkle a little Angie madness into every firing.
Returning to Bunnings for another stack of wet-and-dry grades to create a glass-like feeling with semi-matt appearance on the base of every piece so it’s non-scratch.
*Plus a lot of cleaning. Cleaning everything so my studio space is set up for success (blind ambition).
I’ve deleted the trigger-inducing description of my gut-wrenching-sobs, head-snapping-back-swears, walk-out walk-in tantrums, yelling into the abyss of an empty studio.
I soothe each wound with ‘look how far I’ve come’ and with the next breath wonder ‘what if i tweak this bit’.
This is the joy and nightmare of making beautiful things.