Arts Lab Report: Dreams come true

Let me tell you a story.

It was the month June of that year, the weather just started to get warmer and warmer everyday. I could feel the change in my small room, it was quite unbearable to stay inside and impossible to sleep. Well, we could say that summer has come. 

After a beautiful and unpredictable month, I was quite excited for the beginning of a new one. I knew that something amazing is going to happen and help me achieve one of my goals: Learning how to manage an art studio. Because I always wanted to be an independent artist, creating in my small studio, managing the advertising part and reaching a lot of people.

It happened, with small steps.

After having discussions with Mihaela about renewing the old youth center and turning it to a ceramic studio, we started preparing. First, we bought the materials we will need there: Clay, shaping materials, glaze, pigments and the ceramic kiln- that huge oven to ‘cook’ the ceramics and make them strong enough to stand for ages. I remember when I first saw the interior of the old youth center- I could see the final image from that time. With that enthusiasm and a little help, I started cleaning the space. It didn't take long for the materials to arrive. 

On the very first weekend of the month, I started creating. Here I would like to take a pause and try to explain the relation between clay and fire.

Thousands of years ago, humans discovered that they can actually create everything from soil, with adding water and some other earthy materials to it. They were making objects to use as storage for food and drinks, and they were making totems like animals or human gods/goddesses and believed that those totes would give them good luck, help them hunt more animals or protect them. The only thing was those objects were so fragile, because it was only a combination of the 3 elements- earth, water and air, by drying. The last one was the strongest one: Fire. The invention of fire changed everything in human history. It caused new inventions, as well as it affected the ceramic creation process. People were digging holes to the ground, putting their creations and burning them, this way they discovered to make them durable enough-and thanks to them we, nowadays humans, have a lot of visual documentation of those times.

How important the fire is for the ceramic process- and mine has just started in the warmest month of the year. I started with drawing sketches, after a little research, I was designing patterns inspired by the traditional Romanian ones. That was a nice discovery for me, I’ve always been interested in the traditional patterns and to use them on ceramics, or paintings and embroidery.

Second thing was designing and making a sink for the studio. Since it was a ceramic studio and we needed water in every stage but we didn't have a sink there, I started to create one. It was my first time making something like that and it felt so good to be able to create my own studio items.

My days were passing by and I was mostly in the studio. But also I started to design a logo for Act House, and meanwhile we were shooting the music video of Târgu Frumos, which was gonna be a big hit afterwards!

It was really hot, and hard to stand sometimes. But it was amazing to see the changes in nature, the weather getting dark later and later everyday, and the streets are more colorful after those gray days. For me, it was the month that I met with fire again, my long lasting friend that we got separated for a while. 

This is not the end of this beautiful story, it is just a beginning- the rest is going to come next month!

Written by Deniz Ataman

Deniz is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project,  funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.


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