we’ve been keeping a blog, documenting the development of the 2012 belper art trail. in the absence of a marketing budget we decided that over time we could use social media to promote the trail by doing things in the months leading up to the trail. not sure how well it’s done, however we’ve had fun doing things.

lately in the town we’ve been chatting to individuals who seemed inspired to do things, culturally. it’s really annoyed me that they want to meet with us, yet they’ve spent no time researching what it is we’ve been doing. so when they launch into their big ideas, i point out what we’re doing and invite them to pilot their idea with the next trail.

point is, it takes a lot of effort to organise something. it takes a lot of effort to attend to the details.

in a post to be published at 7:30 tonight, i explore this in a metaphorical kind of way.

title:puddling: metaphor or process.

the post reads:

so the sheet says “collect clay, put into water and a week later puddle it and put it back in the bags”.

wow that sounds easy.

having got past the weight of the dry clay and found enough containers, the fun messy bit was adding the water. enough to cover the clay and leave for a week. the top tip passed on was to add salt to the water and some how magically the clay becomes all soft again.

so far so good. easy peasy.

time past.

the water was the same level.

the clay had been prodded as it was difficult not to return to the containers during the week and not prod the clay, coz it needed prodding.

so the big puddling session arrives.

the directions were to puddle until the clay became like butter. now at this point the difficulties began. what do these words means? they mean whatever they meant at the time of doing the work. my first bucket, the clay was sticky and didn’t release from the container very easily. add water and mash again. slips out of the bucket into the bag. if only there was someone around who’d experienced the final part of the process, someone to talk to, someone to advise as they had been through the complete process already.

in the absence of knowledge, working on what is seen and experienced becomes the process.

the clay requires a lot of work. it’s worth it as at the end there’s a pile of bags with wet clay inside. ignoring the impact on contemporary life, this traditional process is hands on, manual and requires a lot of effort. that effort is worth it as there is a bigger goal being headed to, even though that goal seems as yet to be defined, well other than making a pretty picture hosted in clay. there was me getting carried away in metaphor.

so yes, the puddling of the clay is a little messy, but lets face it, anything worth doing that’s fun gets a little messy at some point.