Studio Talk: Burning the Midnight Oil

Not too long ago, I pulled an all nighter. This was my first all nighter in a very long time.

What could keep me up all night? Was it a keg party? A restless amourous partner? Loud neighbours? Or perhaps the flashing lights of an alien space craft flashing morse code in my window spelling ‘Surrender Cheesecake’.

Was Dorothy of Golden Girls really abducted by aliens? Is she on another midnight cheesecake run?

None of those answers would be correct.

I was up all night working on a sculpture, and I was in the flow of pure creativity. I am sure one day quantum physics will discover that time is not perceived in this state. But until then, here are some images of what kept me up all night:

This sculpture was inspired by a piece I did earlier in the week.

Both of these pieces had their own challenges in creating them, but the second piece was far more delicate. My next step is to get these two pieces through a bisque firing. If they survive that, then I will move on to glazing.

I do not think I will raku fire the piece that kept me up all night, for it will certainly break in the process. The first piece may survive raku, so I am willing to roll the dice and try.

Do you ever stay up all night writing, painting, sculpting or in some other creative pursuit? Or what keeps you up at night?

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! Yes the second one has some really interesting details on it, impressions of fossils, a few animals in there, and once I have recovered I have another sculpture idea 😉 I hope you have an amazing day!

      1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I really appreciate them and hope you have a great day!

  1. Your intro made me chuckle. Dorothy and cheesecake lol

    I love cheesecake though. For real. If an alien life form we’re to lure me to a space craft, cheesecake would be a way to do it.

    Also that sculpture is very cool. I hope they both survive the firing process!

    And yes I’ve pulled all nighters! Mostly back in college but usually with creation at hand. I was an art student.

    I do occasionally get a second wind on some nights and end up starting up way too late creating something. Which then leads to a struggle of the next day on less than ideal sleep. Lol

    Damn day jobs.

  2. I’ve done many time in life however they were from my Bipolar Disorder. When Manic I can go a week without sleep, think I’m so creative and smart and when the hammer falls the truth comes out. Good things my meds work now.

    1. Not sleeping for a week? I am not sure I would survive that. I am glad they found the right meds for you and that you do not have to experience that any more. Thanks for your comment and I hope you have a beautiful day!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you are having a beautiful day!

  3. Both pieces are interesting but the first one speaks the loudest to us. There’s a certain underlying tree theme with those lovely projections emanating from it. Looking forward to seeing them glazed.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! You have captured the essence of the theme, for I was referencing trees in both pieces. I will be building a few more pieces and I have an idea for something similar but with an underwater look to it. I hope they make it to the glazing stage 😉 I hope you are having a great day in your part of the world!

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words! For now they pieces need to completely dry before the bisque firing. I hope you are doing well and your week is going well.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am also looking forward to seeing the final products. I hope you are having a lovely day!

  4. Enjoyed this and hope you will not risk the raku process on such an elemental piece. I especially enjoyed the contract between the piece and your filming it on your very ordinary washing machine. The contrast is also an art form. The light and humorous essay, the piece, and the photos all combine to make a joyful trio.

    1. Thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comments. I will admit I had a little chuckle while taking the pictures of the one piece on the washer 😉 There is a certain irony and realness there that stands in sharp contract to the piece. I won’t risk the raku on that particular piece. I hope you have a beautiful day 😉

  5. Oh WOWwwwwwww, I’m blown away! I had never heard of Raku Pottery before, by the way, so I’m learning something new and thrilling from you. As for sculpture, I can’t even imagine how you “get there”–where, how you start…so many intricate aspects of the piece…and the fragility of the piece tells me you have great courage as well as talent. If my poem doesn’t work, I just “delete” and edit the words–but you have fragile material, completely different art form. What a blessing, gorgeous work!

    1. Raku still fascinates me and probably always will 😉 There is a short video on my youtube channel of part of the firing process. I am not always one to take crazy risks in life, but with clay I will try just about anything. I often say when I am teaching people to work with clay, not to worry because you can always smush (is that a word) the clay and start again. I am glad I did not have to do that. Thank you for your kind comments!

  6. It’s been a long, long time since I stayed up all night working on something. I love that you went for it, and what a unique piece – excited to see the process and end results too.

    I’m about to have a couple of months of downtime from “work” work, and I am thinking maybe at the very least I’ll be staying up a lil extra for drawing from time to time. Can’t wait to immerse myself in creativity!

    Thank you for sharing, and have a lovely day. 🙂

    1. Enjoy your downtime and all the creative opportunities it brings! I look forward to seeing what creations unfold for you!

      I am not sure I even had a choice to go for it. I had no intention of staying up all night!

      Thanks for your kind words!

      1. Yes but those are the best kinds of projects, I find – where you had no choice, it just comes tumbling out and you let the muse take you.

  7. Beyond cool! I pull an all nighter every now and again too when the creative bug hits – messes me right up for the rest of the week lol but I get it.

  8. Oh, yes! Often stay up all night when in the creative flow. Love both sculptures…so much movement and essence of LIFE felt in the second piece. Wishing you great success in the firing. Am looking forward to the beautiful end result of both. 💞

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I was trying to capture movement and a sense of life in that piece. Some of the textures on it are from fossils 😉 Hopefully the kiln gods are kind 😉 I hope you are having a great week.

  9. Oh, yes, I often stay up all night when in the creative flow. I do enjoy the nice quiet time, without the mental distraction of outside interference.

    I love both pieces….the second one holds for me such an energy of movement, a sense of the spiraling life of evolution. I wish you great success in the firing and am looking forward to the post on the completed works. 💞

  10. A midnight cheese cake run would certainly make it easier to pull an all nighter. Your sculptures are both so beautiful The second one is my favorite because it reminds me of the trees in Lord of the Rings. At any moment it could come to life and walk right off that washer.

    1. I love that you saw the LOTR trees in it! That made me smile. I thought of them a few times when I was making it and at earlier stages it very much resembled such a tree! Our laundry room is at the back door, so it is our guard tree!

      I might need to keep an emergency cheesecake in my freezer for my next all nighter!

      Thanks for your kind comment. I hope you have a great rest of the week 😉

    1. It is a great feeling! Thanks for your comment and I hope you are having a great week!

  11. I love trees! And I love your vision of them both. I feel like your first one is leaning back and screaming up to the sky, and your second one looks really burley, and cancerous. Lol, I hope that’s not offensive; I love them.

    1. Thanks for your kind words and no offence taken! It is hard to capture them and do them justice when my goal is to move them as little as possible until they are bisque fired. There is a lovely curve in the first one, and the second one, well if it makes it through glazing, that might be a whole blog post 😉

  12. I love your work, here. Trees are a most interesting subject for many art forms and for writers. We have a large tree outside our balcony, which I find very inspiring while I write. It’s interesting to watch it change through the seasons. I look forward to seeing the finished products.

    1. We have a few old maples in our yard, one of which I can see from the bedroom window. I love watching the branches move in the wind and how it changes the amount of light that gets in my window as I wake up. Thanks so much for your kind words 😉 I will keep everyone posted on their fate.

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and I look forward to visiting again soon!

  13. What a beautiful piece it is! And it is worth staying up all night long🌖🌗🌘 Yes, I had stayed in the past painting all the night and I miss it really, although it is tiring but you forget about tiredness when your creativity showers you at that magical time! And believe me! You won’t regret it next day nor the rest of your life😊 Have you chosen the colors for your piece yet? Keep it up✌

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind comment! You are completely correct, it is a magical moment and the last thing I was thinking about was sleep. I have a few ideas for the piece that most resembles a tree, which will be done in raku, the other piece that is more intricate I may done in matte shades of whites, parchments and other stone like colours … maybe … I am thinking the effect would be to look like shiny stone to kind of show off the fact it is clay, but try to bring some life to it with the shading. I could also go with a deeper and darker colour scheme with reds and blue blacks … I hope you have a great day 😉

      1. I have no doubt this piece will turn amazing! Just go with your feelings and surprise us with an other piece of Art✌ All the best for you & have a creative day😀

  14. Beautiful pieces! I’m usually laying in bed at night, trying to sleep, when my most creative words come to me. I’m trying to get better at writing them down.

    1. I can believe that! Sometimes I dream of pottery 😉 I hope you have a great rest of the week!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment! Tomorrow I am bisque firing those pieces and I hope that second one makes it through. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

  15. I especially like the second one, my cousin is a professional ‘Potter’ and often has these flashes of inspiration himself. I only got as far as making the obligatory ash tray at school, and that must show my age.

    1. My version of the ashtray was a coiled vase that looked like a beehive! But I was a strange child! Thanks for your kind words and I hope you have a great week!

  16. I love the sculptures! Good luck with firing them. 🙂

    Yes, I’ve had nights where a writing piece is rolling around in my head. I try to sleep but have to (repeatedly) get up to write everything down because the writing won’t leave me. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I have one fired now! One more to go! I am glad I am not the only one who is kept up all night by the creative bug! I hope you have a great week ahead!

  17. Your sense of humor definitely tickled me! I do sometimes loose track of time while painting and suffer greatly for it the next day at work, but it can’t be helped sometimes. I try not too, it’s an occasional allowance. Deadlines facilitate it as well. Maybe you can stain the second piece that won’t be fired? It’s fascinating in it’s intricacy.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments! I used to do that with painting too. It was like an art hangover at work the next day! I am hoping to possibly do a regular glaze firing.

  18. As a matter of fact on Friday and Saturday night I stayed up painting, around 3 AM, and have paid the price, but as you know I’m sure, it is very difficult to stop once ideas are flowing.

    1. oh Yes! I know that story very well! Once you start, it is almost impossible to start. I hope you are able to catch up on your sleep!

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