London, England —”It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to (step to, step to, step to)…”
Instead of apologizing for an unintended hiatus (wack), I’m just going to jump in and explain what I’ve been doing these past couple of months.
In May, the last leg of my journey was at a ceramics studio in Tolne, Denmark. I worked with people from all over the world to build a wood fired kiln from the bottom up.
In June, I returned to New York City just long enough to move my stuff out of my apartment and into a storage unit. Why? you ask.
Well, I am back in the U.K.
For the next several months, I will be in London working on a research project while also doing an apprenticeship in Dorset, England with a potter. My primary goals for the apprenticeship include experimenting with wheel throwing and sculptural forms, learning about kiln building and firing and mastering glazes. It’s a tall order for only a few months but with my laser-like obsessive compulsive tendencies and penchant for repetition, I fully expect to have improved leaps and bounds by the new year.
I will continue to update the blog with what I’m working on, including news about exciting projects (well, I think they’re exciting).
In short, while I thought this was the end of my trip, it’s actually just the beginning.
Athens, Greece—Whenever I’m able to see a historic site as I travel to a new city, I try to make it a priority—even though they’re usually teeming with tourists. Greece was no exception. On my second day in the country, I visited the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon was the most memorable structure (mainly because it’s the one that I remember most from Humanities classes in school).
I like to see art/architecture in person for many reasons. It helps me to understand the creative process, and the context in which it was created. When art is presented out of context—in a textbook, for instance—there’s a danger that it will just become an abstract idea (like the Parthenon was to me before last week). Being in the environment sparked questions about the culture, religion, politics, and daily life in ancient Greece which led me to trace the design/function problems that artists potentially faced with their creative process.
My theory is that understanding the context in which art is created can also help one to understand its culture/perspective.
So if ever you’re able to see art and/or architecture in its original context, you should definitely consider it. It could potentially help you to solve problems in your own work.