musings and essays

still life drawing exercise of small pinch pot OR how drawing helps me see

I love drawing. I’ve never thought that I’m just one thing – sculptor, writer, drafts-person. And I really enjoy drawing, sketching, what have you, as a way to slow down and really see, and also just fully engage in that process and being.

The sketches included here are all this pinch pot here, one of the first pinch pots I created in what has emerged as larger body of work. I had really pushed to get back into my workshop and create more regularly — to choose me, and I felt the draw to both hand build and draw. So there it was, that pinch pot,  sitting there, recently dried. I decided to draw it, to see if I could – the shape is odd, asymmetrical, it would be a good challenge for me. I had come to just start shaping these little pots like their spouts were sort of misshaped bottom lips. That’s just what happened. So I wanted to draw and wondered if I could pull it off.


After my first attempt, which I can’t find! I decided to try again rather than keep working on one version; the idea of iterating these came to me — that would be fun, rather than trying to make one “right.” I decided to just go again and compare what changes I could notice in my perception, my choices, my skill? So, what you see here, in order, are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (and final) iterations.



One of the coolest moments was on #4, the final attempt, below, when I was working on the spout/mouth; I added some highlight or lowlight (i wish i could remember which – I wish i even knew how to speak about it technically correctly) and the thing came off the page. I felt my eyeballs sort of go jiggly and I stepped back and sort of shook my head to get steady again. It was like when you finally see one of those images come out of all its hiding within, where you have to de-focus your eyes to be able to see it and then suddenly, there it is and you can’t un-see it, and it sort of, well, comes off the page too, 3-d like.


That’s what happened.I’d done it! I’d reached a new level for myself in that moment that I never had before. It felt ground-breaking for me. I’d been in a flow; I’d stayed with it and boom! The iterating, the practice, the whatever else all came together and I had done “it,” that thing I think we must all be looking for when we create. I cried with joy a little. It was amazing. I hope you’ve had a moment or moments like this!

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