On Ritual

A picture of the weekend office

And office attire is basically useless for keeping your clothes tidy, but I feel it is important for the routine and ritual of getting into the flow.

Hapkido had a huge part in teaching me how to push beyond my self imposed limits, how to dance (a little bit lol), and how to throw clay. It all started with the ritual of putting on a Dobok (our martial arts uniform) and tying the Dhee (belt). Once that belt is on you know it’s go time


It’s a bit different in ceramics. It’s laid back. It takes longer. The curriculum is not laid out for you. There are no preset goals to achieve. It’s harder in a way. This is confirmed by my friend Jay who has been doing it 7 days a week since 1999.

So, putting on the apron is a must for me. It is an impetus for creation.

On Establishing a Rhythm

Art takes rhythm. Ceramics is no exception and probably needs it moreso than the majority of other art forms. It is especially slow paced and the process from beginning to end to create a piece can be weeks to months depending on firing schedules. Not to mention that it can take years before you truly master your materials. Testing glazes alone will take me many months to complete.

The rhythm with ceramics tends to go at “life pace”. Most of us hold down full time jobs, have families and other obligations to attend to before working on our own projects. It seems that it falls into a slow seasonal rhythm spanning years and this is something that I do not mind.

Winter is spent mostly indoors for me so I tend to work on pinched vessels and things that I can do away from the wheel. Spring is a time for re-invigoration, cleaning the mental  clutter and getting back on the wheel. Summer is hot and with that comes the long days and trying to tighten up with routines. Fall is a magical time where I feel the most creative and bold. We’ll see how it goes over the years and how it gets more integrated with life until the goal of life being pottery and pottery being life comes about.

Here is a nice video on Establishing Rhythm with Dionne Swift. While not specifically a pottery video the core concepts span across mediums.

Establishing a Rhythm from R&A Collaborations on Vimeo.