Saturday, June 25, 2016

Listening to the Clay.........

I noted earlier that I was "inviting flow", and behold, the floodgates have opened!  I joined my friend Maxine's Tucson Clay Co-op, and in the intense heat of June here, I get up at 4:30 in the morning and am in the clay studio, gloriously alone, by 5:00.  The hours pass, and the joy is of course the way the clay tells me what to do - it's always intuitive, and ideas flow in like the monsoon floods.  Who would think that I'd enjoy the hot, hot summer so much!

No pictures yet of new work, all of which is in various stages of glazing and bisquing, but I'm working on several Quan Yin mosaics, and two Green Men, one for the Clay Coop.  Having a lot of fun with my box of antique Afghani fabric presses, like the one here.  Before fabric came in from more industrialized Russia and Pakistan, they hand printed their fabric with beautiful hand carved wood fabric presses, which imprint beautifully on clay as well.  There is something so wonderful about being able to carry on the artistry of these unknown carvers, here and how.  The one on the right is my favorite (I used some low fire glazes to achieve the color)....the "raining Zinnia", although to me it looks also like a Chakra, or some manifestation of the Divine imbuing the blessings of rain.

The blessings of rain are not taken lightly here in the desert!

Maybe I love the image so much also because, many years ago when I was getting divorced and preparing to leave my home in the East Coast, and I was very unsure of what to do with my life or even where to go,  I had a dream in which an eagle flew me west, over the great landscapes, and I was dropping Zinnia seeds as we flew.  I've often thought of that dream since........we drop our seeds, the seeds of the flowering of our creativity and our lives, and never know where they will take root.  So let them be seeds of the Beauty Way.

I continue making my various shrines, like the "Shrine for the Ancient Midwives" (2014).........but I seem to be making containers, Reliquaries.  A reliquary was a Container for some kind of sacred artifact, usually, in the middle ages, the bones of a saint.  But I find I am interested in making Reliquaries for the Bones of the Earth and the Past,  a Reliquary for a Lost Forest, a Reliquary for the Flight of a Phoenix, a Reliquary for the Essence of Avalon............

It's so great to have the channels of my creativity open again....................

When Mud Woman Begins

by  Nora Naranjo-Morse


down my arm 
through this clay 
forming into 
spirit shapes

of men
and children 

I have seen 
somewhere before.

surging upward 
as I mix 
                                                        this mud 
                                                        like my mother
                                                        as her mother did 
                                                        with small brown feet.

                                                        Folding into this earth
                                                        a decision of 
                                                        joyful play, 
                                                        transcending expectations 
                                                       of fear
                                                       or perfection.

                                                      Creating spirits
                                                      calling invitations 
                                                      of celebration. 

                                                      What occurs 
                                                       in completed form, 
                                                       bright and bold, 
                                                       is motion 
                                                      from our mother's skin.

                                                      I smile  momentarily satisfied 
                                                      with my play. 
                                                      generated from star colors 
                                                      far from home, 

                                                     through my feet 
                                                     blessing my hands 

                                                     and opening my heart.

                                    From Mud Woman, Poems from the Clay
                                    University of Arizona Press 

                                    © 1992 Nora Naranjo-Morse


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Congrats! It's always wonderful when the creative floodgates open again. And in the midst of such heat out there in the desert!

Rain-in-the-Face said...

Hmmm..interesting parallel with your dream and the myth of Perseus and Medusa. As he was mounted on Pegasus with Medusa's severed head, her blood dripped into the Red Sea becoming coral.

As a flower essence, Zinnia enhances one's ability to rediscover the child-like qualities of playfulness, innocence and adventure. To lighten up. Very lovely Zinnia tile; do you know of Patricia Kaminski of the FES?

lauren raine said...

Thanks! Will investigate. I like that idea about Zinnia......that was actually the feeling of the dream, and ever since I've planted Zinnias as a kind of magical flower. I feel the same about Morning Glories.