Bresnahan Residency Day 3

Today was Sunday.  I gather everyone needed to rest today.  

I went to meet Mike and Kristi for worship and lunch.  Mike was a talented and energetic student in my art classes at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School.  I've been teaching high school art for 16 years...which means many of those teenagers have grown into adults with families.  Mike is now a creative and energetic art teacher himself.  This is a strange and beautiful development for me.  After lunch we sat with his 3-year-old boy and cut up photos as part of his current collage series.  

It was great to visit, but I wanted to get back to the studio.  I went to my room to change out of church clothes and a nap overtook me.  Boy did I need that.  So much that I took another.  Talking with my wife on the phone revealed that she had a similar afternoon.  It wasn't until after supper that I finally got into the studio.  I was wondering how my 3 clay figures were fairing...

I've been warned that this clay acts differently.  I'm told it doesn't stick to itself, dries faster, and shrinks more than other clays.  Upon inspection of the figures I started the day before, I noticed a crack at the top of one of my figure's legs.  This was probably due to shrinkage pulling away from my prong armature.  I worked on patching the crack, continued to develop the modeling of the surface, and carefully removed the sculpture from the armature.  Everything was looking good and I felt like the tight-rope walk between strength and plasticity was going well.  As I was cleaning up for the night, it just fell.  It was a slow, but persistent attraction to the floor, like a tree making it's way to the ground.  Watch the video...

So I adapt.  I'll look at what remains of the piece with new eyes and I'll give the tight rope walk another go.  On this Sunday, even my clay wanted to lay down and rest.

Ryan Kutter

Ryan is the Studio Manager at the St. John's Pottery.  He guides tours, splits wood, answers emails, and helps me get my ID badge.