Today I panicked because I was trying to redo some iron bowl sculptures I'd started ten years ago. I looked at them and felt at a total loss. It was like meeting strangers who are supposed to be family members. I felt no connection.
As a last resort, still very unhappy, I tried something that has worked in the past. I set up a small "bowl circle" in the Nest - the tiny "clean studio" room - arranging the four bowls and myself on the floor in a rough circle, as if we were sitting in council together.
I gazed at them. Perhaps they looked back. At least I was calm now.
I stood up and tore a little red square of paper. I've been wanting to put a little red square of paper on one of these bowls for years. I laid it in place. Ah. Good.
We sat together a while longer. I stood up and got out a box of soft cords. Maybe cord could go through these holes? Yes, it could. I liked that.
We sat a while longer. Gradually all the bowls let me know what they really wanted. I noted it down. I saw that it was all doable. It hadn't seemed doable before, but now it felt easy. OK, I'll say the E word. It seemed effortless.
I don't know why the bowl circle works. I have no idea if it would work for other artworks, in other media, for other artists. Today it rescued me, and rescued four bowls too.
I believe that sitting on the floor is an important part of this. Chairs and pedestals wouldn't work as well. It would be like a business conference, not a sacred circle.
At the end of today's circle, I didn't feel all lovey-dovey toward these bowls. But I felt enough connection to want to do the work. That's a lot. And for it to feel effortless - now that's really a lot.