Each step of the ceramics process fascinates me. The throwing, the drying, the trimming, which all leads up to assessing what it has become and then banging the pot out of round to transform it again. After that I have my canvas. Then there’s the sawdust, the wood, the fire, and the heat. Through it all, I leave a lot to what just happens. There’s a word in Japanese called Shibui*. It describes things that are simple, subtle, and unobtrusive while also being accepting of imperfection. It’s in that imperfection that I find my inspiration. You can’t control what happens in the pit firing, you really let go of control and let the pot do what it wants. Embracing the chaos of fire.
Through the years, I’ve collected pots by ceramicists I admire like Claude Conover and Bennett Bean, and I look at these pieces and I see the process. It took a tremendous amount of work for the artist to shape the piece into what it is. A brilliant life drawing teacher I had once told me that once the work leaves your studio, it loses all trace of the artist’s story. The piece has to stand on it’s own, and speak to the viewer in it’s design and execution. I hope when this pot stops being mine and becomes your’s, that it will bring you as much joy as the special pieces I’ve collected in my home.
* 渋い Shibui (adj) : Having a simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty which speaks of acceptance of imperfection and transience.