“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was glad to read these words because I am in the early stage of my experience as an artist. I started taking classes in pottery in 2009, shortly before I retired from a technical career that was highly specific. Pottery offered an avenue to help me develop a richer sense of artistry and creativity. I have learned there is no limit to expression in pottery.
The process of wood firing soon captured my interest with its history and community building. I like that it takes a decision to enter the commitment of time and work involved in this traditional art. The striking result is lovely simplicity of form and warm earthiness of color. Having lived in Asia, I feel a special affection for this ancient art. (While visiting China, I was delighted by a potter who referred to his “Japanese Wood Fired CeramTheics” by Kusakabe and Lancet, just like mine, only written in Chinese!) I like to think of others enjoying the specialness of my wood fired pieces. Each wood fire has its unique features, and the ongoing challenge of striving for improvement and consistency is exciting and rewarding.
I am aiming for functionality, simplicity, integration of texture, and inspiring a good relationship of color to my pieces. I like to see and use my pieces in my home, and have enjoyed creating gifts for others. The quiet rhythm and concentration of working with a wheel is a therapy to me. My thoughts are integrated into the physical task of creating something pleasing from a part of the earth. I eagerly look forward to exploring more and more in the art of pottery.