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What If?

I had some time before my writing class one morning so I spent quality time playing in my sketchbook.

I started with a gingko leaf. After drawing the leaf, I began to think about what I would do with the design. I could make an art quilt. I could make a stencil so I could use it for underglaze on a ceramic piece. I could take the design and carve free hand into moist clay.

Or I could get out my tablet and use the sketch app. The sketch app. comes with the ability to draw mirror images. Could I take this design and turn it into Art Deco or Art Nouveau. If I make a mirror image, what do I put between the two designs? The fast sketches are annotated:

Rock is better. See matte shinos @ NM Clay. Albany slip? Carve in layers. Matte shino – more realistic. Albany slip for gingko? Celadon for remainder? Desert Yellow? Or use matte teal or turquoise? Teal better.

Three pages of sketches and notes all made within a half hour.  One of the parts of creativity that fascinates me is how an idea starts and grows. What I had in mind when I started was nothing like what I had on paper when I finished.

What if….. I played with the surface of a pot? I had made a box that I wasn’t sure I liked. The lid cracked in the bisque firing. I was going to toss the entire piece until I looked at it again. The bottom part of the box was an interesting vessel. I had poked my finger into the soft clay making an assortment of belly buttons.

I fired the kiln today and while firing, I made pots. What if….. I coil built a three sided vessel, a loose triangle with soft corners. When I got it built, I poked my finger from the inside of the pot to make outie belly buttons. Then I poked my finger from the outside of the pot to make innie belly buttons. Eventually, it will get glazed. I want to play with some glaze combinations and see how the glazes run over the humps and impressions. I plan on making a few more experimental belly button pots. What if….. I put texture on the outside then pressed belly buttons on the inside and outside? What would the glaze do?

When I got the belly button pot done, I worked on pinch pots. What if….. I do weird things when I make a pinch pot. I pinch – as one expects. I smooth out the way I smooth out a coil built  pot. I pull up the short areas, something like throwing a pot, to make a more or less even rim. I like the pinch pots I made today.

What if….. I named the experimental pot a belly button pot? Would that pot be attractive to people?  Would people buy a belly button pot?

Art is comprised of What if…..  What if I use this paint and this brush? What if I draw with a pen rather than a pencil? What if I put this piece of fabric with that fabric? What if I do some hand quilting along with machine quilting? How can one create without experimentation?

All of life is a risk. What if I marry this person? What if I never marry? What if I move to the other side of town? What if I move to the other side of the country? What if I don’t accept this job offer? What if I quit this job? The answers only come after taking the risk.



I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: