The Fly

Ten days ago when the studio had gone quiet, a small fly landed on my clay. Being still quite cold outside it was unusual to see any insects.

At first I worried the fly might get stuck in the wet clay - I was having a hard time rolling it out thinly when it landed. But as I sat and watched, it very slowly started to move around, stopping briefly, perhaps taking up moisture, until it suddenly ran very deftly across the surface, to rest again and explore the clay.

For the next half hour it came and went and never seemed bothered by my actions. And after a respite it came one last time before flying off to another part of the studio.

I remember thinking at the time how the fly made me realise I was working with a substance that should be outdoors, how it was connecting to it in a very practical way. And yet it also seemed to be curious too in the way it moved about, as if pondering the clay and not quite able to leave it alone.

It felt like a very Japanese moment - the clay, the fly and me.