Ceramic art has been around for quite a long time. In fact, the oldest known ceramic figurine, The Venus of DolnÃ VÄ›stonice is dated to 29,000â€“25,000 BCE. That’s pretty old. One could argue that as an art form, ceramics have some serious lasting power.
As an artist the notion of my work out lasting my life had always been something that was extremely important to me, until recently. In fact, it was something I seriously considered when switching my primary work from paint on canvas to glaze on ceramic. What concerned me, was that while the potential to last thousands upon thousands of years existed, if it’s not treated carefully ceramic art is also quite likely to end up like the photo I’ve posted, or worse.
What I would spend the majority of my time on had the potential to last a thousand lifetimes after I was gone. At the same time, what I dedicated my life to could shatter in a split second upon a concrete floor.
As I have gotten older the fragility and possible destruction of my life’s work now really appeals to me. I’m pretty darn happy with this moment right here and the fact that me and you and everything else in the universe is but a temporary dot in time and space. It brings me a sense of comfort. It takes the pressure off. It makes the mistakes a little less painful and it make the victories more sweet. We are all a beautiful accident, delicate and temporary. My art like everything else around us is fragile and fleeting and that is totally fine with me. I don’t care how long my art outlasts me after I am gone anymore. It can last 25,000 years or 25 minutes after I hand it off. My only realistic hope is that it can somehow make my world and the world around me a tiny bit better while we share our time together. Either way, it’s ok.
Is your legacy important to you? What do you hope to leave behind after you die? What do you wish to be remembered for? Do you even want to be remembered? Or is this moment right here enough for you and you wish to leave nothing but the remnants of the star stuff from which you are made?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.