Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Pottery - its useful...

Musing about my pots - because I use them. Currently, in preparation for my graduation and anticipated future full time pot-making, I’ve had to organize and clean things out. I’ve come across pots that I made only a few years back, some just a year ago. Many went directly to the shard pile but several have ended up in my kitchen. These pots have become a regular part of my daily routine. I use them to drink my milk at the end of day when taking my vitamins, having cereal for breakfast, or a bowl of fruit and/or ice cream in the evening. By using my pots on a daily basis I continue to learn from them and consequently I have become a more skilled maker of everyday objects. Recently, my daughter broke a covered bowl I made and we used for steaming veggies in the microwave. The first family dinner with fresh veggies after the demise of the covered bowl brought blank faces as the family tried to figure out how to cook the veggies without it (it’s on my list to make another). There was nothing special about this covered bowl, a simple exercise a few years back to make a covered bowl that morphed into an object my family could not function without. One tumbler in particular has become my favorite for ice water or soda. It was thrown loosely, of dark stoneware and glazed in a traditional shino, not at all my style. However, when I use this tumbler I am reminded of how experimenting with different clay bodies and styles has informed my current choices and made me a better teacher. I’m also reminded of how much my work needs loosening up, how I need to capture that loose moment that I seized creating the shino tumbler, but next time in porcelain. Very silly - but I think of this tumbler as a metaphor of what will be the future for my work and me. Also informative are the amount of times and the number of uses I find for my pots. Take, for instance, the “Belly Button Serving Tray” that recently sold on my Etsy page. In the past months, I have used that tray for serving hot hors d'oeuvres at Thanksgiving, Cake at Christmas, and cooking and serving nachos to my teenage daughter’s friends during a party she hosted for her BFF. I also use my ewers, pitchers, and coffee cups. Even my dog and cats have there own hand made bowls. We potters talk a lot about how our functional ware becomes treasured family artifacts. What I am finding amusing is….they really do.

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