Let us act and think, pretend, just for a moment, that ‘matter’ is constituted slightly in the vein of the standard model a particle physics.
And now let’s act as if a potter — I, the potter — develops an idea for a new shape, a new form, a new foot, a new edge, a new curve and a new physical texture, a new placing of slips on wetware which will create complex colour variations, a new visual texture, and a variable crystalline texture as well as the glossiness of the glaze which I am now developing as well. This is all creative drift, imaginative thinking and imaging, and schematic planning — in my mind as we say and feel with great emotion.
I have not yet touched the clay.
Do not ask me how I have these notions. I do not know! I begin to act, play with materials, slips and oxide-dipped paint brushes. This is all normal stuff when you make a pot. It takes a little while to play and concretise the thoughts. By a ‘little while’, it could be anywhere from a morning to a couple of days, to a couple of weeks, and painfully sometimes longer. But all being well, the notion that was present to me in the moment of imagining, thinking, and seeing what it was that I wanted to create, is still with me and has not dissipated. Practice renders this whole ordered mess increasingly trustworthy.
Here I am, trying to figure out how to ask a question given that we live in a material world, and not the material world of the popular song in the 1980s in concert with consumerism and thing-possession materiality. But the material world of science, physicality, matter, mass, and subatomic particles, quanta and the energy related there to.
Enter CERN stage left.
So, we are still pretending that I continue to have this idea, this insight, this image, and the mental grasp of something to do in my studio. It is by no means my wish to say or suggest that the electromagnetic activity in the brain is the source, cause, origin, beginning, first moment of the image/idea/information and thought, that I just had. I had it.
How is it that the potter has the idea?
I am not my brain.
My brain is not only an idea; it is a living thing (and a mode of another living thing).