Saturday, 3 August 2013

Exquisite Ennui

^Vase from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

After the second half pill, a big pack of Doritos, and probably the third bottle of Tesco's own Soave, which had altogether lasted them the duration of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and an episode of something about what it’s like to be really, really fat, they mulled over the fact that they didn't really do much together other than watch stuff on screens.

People around them were taking up hobbies, playing Ukele in the park, doing yoga, cycling, making pottery, obsessively taking pictures of everything and anything they cooked, touched, saw, did, with their old hand-held film Pentaxes, and developing it all in their cupboard. One particular acquaintance they all pretended to like had her own allotment, and had sworn to only eat things that she grew herself because the Supermarkets were “Poisoning all of us”. She was supposedly going to make a documentary out of her experience.  Everyone seemed to be making a point of doing stuff that was hands on, that was old-school, crafty, communal. Some people had even made a point of leaving facebook, which was rubbish because they seemed to mostly be people that they all loathed equally, and whose photo streams and status updates they had spent many happy hours together coming up with snarky comments about.

^2 Vases from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

Anyway, not to be left out, they needed something along those lines that they could post to facebook/twitter/flickr/instagram and tag/@ each other in, and since one of their mothers liked making bad clay sculptures of ‘abstract’ interlocking figures, and had a kiln, and mountains of spare clay, and her studio was basically her kitchen, they started making pottery. All of them except one had been to Art School at some point, and so they all agreed it would be simplest running with a Cadavre Exquis type thing. It was an easy way of making something look random and cool, while equally dividing up the workload, and actually making everything a whole lot easier because nothing really needed to be planned, or discussed. One of them would take a strip of clay and bend it into a wiggly shape, pass it on to the next person who would bend another wiggly strip and then stick that one to the previous one, pass it on and so on and so on, until soon enough, after a few times round the table, they would have an unpredictably random looking symbol of their coolness. Sometimes they’d keep going and make something big, other times they’d like what they had quite quickly and end up making lots of little things. 

They’d keep the door to the garden open, have the TV on, a spliff in counter-rotational movement to the clay, a laptop in the middle of the table, bowls of crisps, some regional craft cider that would look good in photos, and plenty of 2litre bottles of Soave. At least one of them at any given moment would be snapping Vine vids and posting them online that showed lots of clay covered hands and them just generally having an amazing, old-school time. They got the mum to fire and glaze whatever they made –as well as clean up the mess they left- and without really having to change their lifestyles that much they got to keep acting as holy-as-thou as they liked around everyone else because frankly, unfairly, the stuff that came out of their weekly binges was really quite amazing. 

They even got into the local newspaper and a whole load of blogs because they marketed the pieces online as “communally made by young local craftspeople, trained in British arts colleges, who have a passion for keeping traditional skills alive whilst pushing the newest in design ideas.” On their ebay page you couldn’t avoid in huge graphics that 30% of any money they made was donated to a fund that ‘fights the negative effects of gentrification on local communities’.

^Vase from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

No comments:

Post a Comment