by Leslie Farin
I seek inspiration everywhere I go. Last week I was lucky enough to be in Alaska with my husband celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The breathtaking beauty of the landscapes surrounding the ship as we cruised through the Inner Passage left me speechless. I took hundreds of pictures hoping to capture the magnificence of the glaciers. Armed with this recent infusion of inspiration, I couldn’t wait to get back to my studio to attempt to transfer the magical scenery I witnessed into my work in some way.
Much of my pottery consists of functional pieces such as trays, plates or cups, which I love to decorate in a way that evokes emotion and brings unusual beauty to ordinary tableware. Why shouldn’t every meal be a special experience? I chose a sugar and creamer set, a large platter, and a medium-sized tray on which to apply my landscape design, layering glossy black and white glazes. With every brush stroke I strived to communicate the same strong, yet peaceful feeling I felt on the ship.
I was pleased with the results. I purposely combined black glaze with the white instead of choosing a shade of blue, as many would for a landscape; the color combination somehow seemed more powerful. The sharp contrast between the two colors combined with the soft cloud-like curves of the layered design expressed the range of feelings I wanted to communicate.
Experiencing the beauty of Alaska was a once in a lifetime, not to be missed if at all possible opportunity, one which will I will no doubt incorporate into my work for years to come. Yet, Inspiration can be found closer to home too. Most of us do not have unlimited finances earmarked for travel to beautiful parts of the world. Keep your eyes open, and carefully observe the world around you on a daily basis. Life experiences, the beauty of a local park, trees in your own backyard, or art created by others provide great inspiration as well. Remember to pay attention and fully take in the view wherever you are, whatever you are doing. The inspiration will follow.
Where do you find your inspiration?