Today’s inspiration for writing comes from my artist friend Sally Moroney. She makes amazing art, baskets, paintings, necklaces – and is a wealth of knowledge in so many things to do with making and exhibiting art.
My daughter and I went to visit her today to find out about an upcoming youth exhibition.
She showed Sally some art, and then started to play around with some clay.
As my daughter constructed her clay dragon, the importance of pre-planning and gaining more practical knowledge became apparent; she found she should have templated both wings through tracing, and used wire reinforcing in the more delicate parts like the long thin tail. She began to ask Sally many questions. Her wings had wire based upon this advice.
Sally let her know, very gently, that the dragon may not make it beyond this first phase, but a second attempt at something like it will have a great chance of success based on the advice from Sally. And if it can dry well, she may be able to bisque fire it(pretty risky) or coat it with glue and paint it.
Whilst Sally was teaching my daughter ways forward with her future clay work and possible fixes for her current piece, I was thinking about how writing without any structure and working organically can work to a certain point. Then some stronger foundations and reinforcement may be needed. Motifs, research, so many things might be needed to make a work stronger. Without this the way forward may become confused.
I began my first novel, like my daughter, free playing with her clay. But the novel cracked under the pressure – and went into an electronic draw. Yet, as I start my second journey I plan, research, map and do things to make the journey of the next one stronger.
I just have a feeling this one is going to work better, because my foundations are stronger. I have a better sense of my self as a writer and can take all the tips from education, workshops, reading, and current readers and friends and put them into the work.
You might ask why not learn with all the lessons first? There are so many ways to learn. One is by embarking on the journey, doing, reflecting and changing. Another is to have it all spelt out, and follow the formulas and set templates. I like to do a bit of both.
How about you? Do you like learning by theory, or hands on and then reflecting, adapting and changing?
By leaving my daughter free to work with the clay, Sally discovered that she likes dragons and likes pushing the boundaries of the clay to delicacy. She could then guide her according to her wishes. If Sally began with a set template and formula she wouldn’t have found that out as a facilitator. I think also my daughter if her clay doesn’t stay together, will now always remember to reinforce it and take those steps needed at the beginning.
Thanks Sally for such an educational day.
I especially enjoyed hearing about one of Sally’s paintings in the Layer’s Exhibition at Mission Beach Community Arts Centre.