The birth of Ruby – The fire
TheÂ rhythmic clicks of relay switches worm their way into my subconsciousness as I stare distractedly through the rain, into the yellow wetness of the trees, pliers in my hand. A glistening Maple leaf sticks momentarily to the wet glass like a little fire beacon, before being carried away again. I follow its flight trajectory with my eyes until it’s gone, mentally counting the frequency of clicks behind me; one, pause, two, pause, three, pause…, then, reluctantly tear myself away from the hypnotic rain patter outside and turn my head towards the clicking machine.
Red numbers flash on the digital display, continuously updating me with the current conditions inside its chamber. Casually, and mostly out of habit I scan the updates and then dismiss them from my mind, returning my attention to the work at hand and my liquid thoughts.
At art school I absolutely hated kilns and never wanted to own one, because our ceramics department had only manual kilns that needed constant attention. The temperature required to be manually increased every 2 or so hours, and someone from the class had to hang around campus all day just to do that. I loathed the awful inconvenience of it….Â but to be fair, I wasn’t really motivated by the curriculum or my own work enough to be bothered with the whole kiln attendance thing. I swear, I spent most of my art school experience resenting everything and being constantly annoyed. I didn’t really appreciate how far my education would take me in the long run. I especially hated ceramics classes and their manual kilns.
Turning again to look appreciatively at my clicking, blinking digital kilns in the dark corner of the studio, I wonder with slight bewilderment how I got to this point in my life. Not just owning the once hated kilns, but also the whole deal of being an artist. If someone had told me back then what would be, I would have laughed in their face with disdain. Disillusioned andÂ confused by art education,Â I really didn’t see any art future for myself, and wondered desperately what I would do with my life, my impractical art degree and my seemingly pointless skills after graduation.
It suddenly occurs to me how very much like microwaves my digital kilns are: load the parts, close the lid, program firing sequence into the computer and press start, only instead of a lunch, you get a doll. Well, maybe it’s not quite that simple…but the thoughtÂ amusesÂ me as I work.
Ruby is firing. Hours go by, the studio gets darker, relays click away with reassuring regularity, fading in and out of my subconsciousness and measuring the passing of the gloomy afternoon in their electronic way; one, pause, two, pause, three, pause…. Â Then, replaced by random thoughts, they fade from my mind again.
This entry was posted on Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.