Ruth Padel: moulding of art and the product that itches to be scratched,

I was adding something that Ruth Padel had spoken about in the papers last week regarding writing and redrafting.

It got me thinking abut drafts, art and redrafting. When I am teaching visual arts with my little ones(students) we take a piece of clay, mould it, mess with it, make an object and then at the end of the lesson, we scrunch it up and put the clay back into the clay bag for another day of experimentation and lesson outcomes…

Some of my students don’t like this but I am trying to help them realise that it is about the process not the product, dearie. So, they lose their snake or coil pot or whatever type of creature they have made. I think this is right and proper as the next time they take out a blob of clay, they will experiment again, improve and eventually will make a product that they think is the best thing they have ever made!

But, what would happen if that first piece they made was the best? What is the second time they tried it, they lost that creativity and inhibition and made a second best? What if the children craved and yearned for that piece. Sure, we can take a photo of the first piece or first draft in writing but when do writers or artists know when they are finished? Can they ever know? How does a writer know that their story or poem is 100% brilliant and perfectly formed and they can release it into the universe of the reader.

I am sure that the writer or artist will tell yu they are never entirely happy with their work. If this is the case, shouldn’t the final product be the ONE? The ideal of all of their work. Something they can stand over forever and forever. But, they couldn’t, could they? An artist or writer is only human and will inevitably look back into the future and want to change, improve and shape. So, should authors and artists do a second coming of their novel or story? A sort of “I thought this was good but now, I’ve changed and I want to bring it to present day”

Any writers or artists have an opinon because I cannot answer this argument. There is no correct answer or is there?


If you look for images of Ruth Padel, you will find that she has really good photos. She has thought about this. She has decided she will smile and look real and all “Ruth Padel” like. Makes sense. No black and white, stylised, serious looking into the distance photos for her. No way. Thanks for the chance to think about this. Just wish I could come to a produced conclusion, all wrapped up neatly!


One Reply to “Ruth Padel: moulding of art and the product that itches to be scratched,”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.