A lot has changed as far as the needs of ceramics. We have cheap and plentiful, but mostly soulless, daily use pottery. I think that because we have so much mass produced ware that it has given us a desire and a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into ceramics. We are a connected world but we are so often missing those intimate connections. What is more intimate than a cup or a bowl and an offering of food or drink to a friend or a family member?
It occurred to me, a while back, that eating together is a very intimate act. Eating with a stranger is a primal and meaningful act that allows people to come together. You learn a lot just by partaking in this simple action and the inevitable conversation that comes with it.
Using a cup or bowl also involves the maker. If you drink from a cup made by someone you know, they are with you in a way. Even if you dont know the maker personally you know that the intention is there. If it is an honest vessel it comes not only with the clay and glaze but also with the intention of that connection. Clay is a way to connect with your fellow human beings in a way that no other medium allows you to achieve.
A new porcelain bowl. I’m experimenting with a new kodai (foot ring) form, that gently dips downward towards the bottom creating a concave section and a foot that tapers to a softened point. It has taken longer and presented new challenges with this bowl because I shaped the form to completion outwardly. I cannot carve the outside further. I think the end result is worth the technical “challenge” (if you can call it that). I guess it’s less a challenge than just an order of operations thing. You just complete the outside first and I’m used to leaving the outside mostly unfinished and forming for the interior.
I had a very hard time letting this yunomi go up for sale. However to fund further projects I have to let some of them go. Its hard to convey how the vessel feels in your hands, how it is thrown a little thicker to accommodate hot tea, how big it is, how heavy. A picture is worth a thousand words but holding it in person is the final answer. And even that is subjective.
I want the pieces that I create to fit the owner and to fulfill their purpose. I’m so glad this one went to a repeat customer in Australia. I’ve talked with him several times and we share some of the same tastes and ideas about pottery. He even sent pictures when it arrived. It truly makes my day when I get pictures back! If it is being used and enjoyed then I am on the right path with my work.
The Heart of Man is truly at home. I hope he discovers the “secret” to the name during its use. 🙂