The Porcupines Dilemma

On a chilly winter night, a group of porcupines decide to huddle together for warmth but as they get closer they begin to prick each other. So they step out into the frozen night only to go back inside to the huddling. Oh shit, once again the needles prick into them and they back off again. This Porcupine Dilemma was identified by Sigmund Freud as a metaphor about the challenges of human intimacy. 
I spent the day cleaning my studio. How could one person who has been away for 3 months possibly make such a mess? Thank Gawd there is no one here to rag me out about the condition of my working environment.  I get to be my own most harsh critic and shame myself into cleaning up.  When I get in a groove the making is what is on my mind. I work until I’m spent and no longer have the energy to clean up the mess making the omelette created. 
What makes you happy needs no reason!  I am happiest making and I clean at the end of a cycle. Clean up day ain’t a happy time but a time of necessity. There usually isn’t a clear table in the workshop.  My trusty Tommy Stuart wheel was clean the day I brought him home. I haven’t cleaned him since. He will only get dirty again tomorrow. 
I needed to clear the space so I could work on some new glazes for a Colours of Shino course I am conducting here at Pinecroft mid May. I have pink, green, blue, white, bronze and chocolate shinos with lustrous washes and painting oxides. Of course the students will want to take a big snort of the crack I am currently addicted to.
Wish I could have a beer with ole Sigmund. I figure part of the human condition is that many believe what makes them happy should make you happy. The porcupines realize that although they want to be close together keeping a little distance serves them well. 

No black bean burger, grilled carrots and babba ganouch for this cowboy tonight. Grilled a couple of Uncle Donny/Aunt Nancy’s lean ground burgers, some portobello shrooms, made a nice salad, a cold Goose Island IPA and played my tunes for company. Life is good for those of us  that know that life is good.
Firing Cassius Clay this weekend with some crack.

A  bisque bowl I brought home from Starworks. Gawd, I miss y'all!


John Bauman said…
I can't have a neat shop. If it hasn't happened in 40 years it's not going to start now. But I like order. I create order within the chaos. I line pots up -- handles face the same way. Glaze ware lines the edge of tables -- corresponding lids behind jars. The guitar stays on the wall hook or on my lap.

And if the center table is cleared off, all is well with the world. Sort of.

My wheel was bought new in '78. If I've cleaned it 20 times I'd be surprised.
gz said…
I've always worked in either very small spaces, or in more public ones,viewed by the customers..
so tidy and clean has been forced upon me.
It does have its benefits, cleaning can interrupt the flow. It can be a form of meditation also,setting things "right" for the next work stage
smartcat said…
I have been working upstairs in my sunroom since Christmas when the weather got to cold for me to easily heat my studio. I’m ready to move back downstairs, but need to do some major cleanup and organizing before going. Then I will be good for another year.
I’ve been getting used to cleaning up while being upstairs. One of the great pleasures my fur-loggers have is knocking things over and stealing brushes.
Anonymous said…
My studio is so small I have no choice but to keep it tidy. I can only do one operation at a time...throwing, glazing, shipping...each time I'm done with one operation, the studio is cleaned up to get ready for the next one. If I had a bigger studio I'm sure it would be nowhere near as tidy! Cheers, Owen in Oregon

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