Thursday, January 19, 2012

beautiful ugly.

i love the term "beautiful ugly." this is when something is SO ugly that it is actually beautiful. i've been experimenting with new glazes, underglazes, slips, and clays. when these bowls came out of my test kiln, i was HUGELY DISAPPOINTED, as they were nothing of what i expected. i slammed the kiln shut and stormed out of the room. but the next day when i looked at them again, i found them to be quite beautiful . . . exquisite, even.

one of clay's biggest life lesson for me is to not have your heart set on something. when you think you want something a certain way, it could turn out in a completely different way and you just might love it even more. i love when the clay speaks to me like this. it opens up my mind to even more possibilities than i ever imagined were out there.

what you think you might want, might not be what you want at all.

(click on the image for a closer look at the beautiful ugliness)


16 comments:

Sunshine said...

Ahh lessons in clay! I think we ceramic artists have a different idea of failure, experimentation and expectation are our benchmarks for the momentum with which we create! Keep it up!

rae dunn. said...

sunshine, INDEED ! my BIGGEST clay life lesson is in regards to LETTING GO.

Stacy K. said...

these deserve to be in a fairy tale.

JUDI TAVILL said...

I am SO into Beautifully Ugly .... really not ugly at all.. beautifully flawed.. I feel like the greater consciousness is tapping us on the shoulder and we would be smart to listen!

Natalie Thiele said...

wabi sabi...

Laura Farrow said...

WORD!

Lori Leaumont said...

Wabi sabi, yes! That is the phrase I was thinking of but couldn't remember.

I have to thank you again for posting this. I saw it yesterday on Facebook, and it inspired me so much it was on my mind when I went into the studio in the evening. I normally have very structured lesson plans for my students, but with your post in mind, I decided to play with something I've been wanting to try, without thinking too hard about the end result. It was one of the best nights I've had in the studio in ages! Not only did my students learn a new technique, but I made a piece that is a complete departure from my usual work, and it's wonky and textured, and I love it! I think it's going to be a new direction for me. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

i'm such a big fan of these beautiful clunky creations
of yours! I'd love to add them to my RD
collection :)
and wake up to them in the morning!

~Willow

Makiko Hastings said...

Indeed! ugly-beauty yes! This is what I am writing about on my dissertation right now and a subject of my final show. May I ask if it's possible for me to put this post onto my skecthbook, as a valued reference, with your site link please?

rae dunn. said...

makiko . . . SURE, that would be fine and THANK YOU for asking ! good luck on your dissertation.

Lori Leaumont said...

I just finished painting the piece I made inspired by this post. I wrote a blog post about it, and linked to this post. Please let me know if you'd like me to remove it, but I wanted to give credit where it's due. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful work:)

rae dunn. said...

Lori, what is your blog link ?!

Lori Leaumont said...

Sorry Rae! I think I assumed you could click my name.
http://15paintedcups.blogspot.com/2012/02/paper-bag-princess.html

rae dunn. said...

lori . . . LOVE IT !

Lori Leaumont said...

Thank you!!!

molly said...

yes, they are beautiful