I couldn’t attend NCECA in Rhodes Island this year, so I was delighted to discover a lot of information and videos of the conference. The speech by emerging artist, Roberto Lugo was so inspiring. Doesn’t it make you feel that ceramics is alive moving into the future.This machine kills hate
“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”
– a quote from the Donna Tartt novel, Goldfinch.
So, though handmade pots aren’t magnificent paintings, the simple mug, that for some reason gives you a short shot of pleasure, maybe helps you to pay attention to that morning coffee, or the morning light coming through the translucent porcelain cup. The rice bowl, the rim, that swirls around the warm oatmeal on a cold day. Little pleasures like this, and so many others awaken me to a small beauty, and give me a path to experience something larger and indeed magnificent, like the following Mary Oliver poem:
Franz Marc’s Blue Horses
I step into the painting of the four blue horses.
I am not even surprised that I can do this.
One of the horses walks toward me.
His blue nose noses me lightly, I put my arm
over his blue mane, not holding on, just
He allows me my pleasure.
Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain.
I would rather die than try to explain to the blue horses
what war is.
They would either faint in horror, or simply
find it impossible to believe.
I do not know how to thank you, Franz Marc.
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually.
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
Now all four horses have come closer,
are bending their faces toward me
as if they have secrets to tell.
I don’t expect them to speak, and they don’t.
If being so beautiful isn’t enough, what
could they possibly say?
Peter Pinnell’s commentary on mugs always inspires.
I submitted two pots to the show “Strictly Functional”, and one was accepted. Hooray! The problem is, they didn’t tell me which one, and I won’t find out until August. Which one do you think made the cut?
The Ikebana class that Jose’ Juico and I led this summer just finished. Success in vessel making, and so many beautiful arrangements were the result! Below are some images of arrangements, starting with an exquisite one by Jose’
The Spring equinox is next week. Hooray! Has there been anything more welcome than Spring 2014?
I’ve planned Spring classes and offer them to you.- Classes begin March 25th.
I’m looking forward to begin another Ikebana Class with Jose’ , the studio filled with flowers and the quiet beauty of an Ikebana arrangement!
This winter I’ve been experimenting with Nerikomi: flower designs, geometric patterning and easy ways to transform slabs into 3 dimension, hoping to share new techniques with the Spring Nerikomi class.
And, finally, after a surprising result from a sawdust firing from last year’s handbuilding class, I want to explore ways with students to create figurative gesture and movement in a slab built pot. Roz Epstein and I will teach the class, Form and the Figure.
For imformation about the classes, follow the link to my Classes page.
For my Black Friday sale last year, I sold flameware pots for use on stovetops and ovens. The clay is very foreign for me to use- red-brown, very gritty and gooey- a departure from working with porcelain. I was glad to clean my studio at the end of my work cycle making these pots. Nevertheless, I love using them. I’ve had a few flameware pots for over 3 years, and have used them brutally- frying bacon, steak, fridge to stove, freezer to stove, testing their durability. They’ve withstood all my abuse, are easy to clean, and have developed a pleasing black flashing from the flame.
My Nerikomi Workshop takes place at the Wallingford Guild this Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 10AM to 5PM
I’ll be doing a workshop at the Wallingford Guild on February 1, 2014 and posting more information about this closer to the date. You can see my nerikomi pots by clicking on the link.