August 14, 2008

Moving Onward

All good things must end, sometime. Even blog-cations. Is that a word (yet)? It's been a rollicking two weeks, the usual ups and downs. I've mostly been packing up the old shop and moving it , albeit prematurely, to the new one. After Ron's culinary suggestion, I've been eating a lot of tomato sandwiches and loving 'em. I've made some pots but not nearly enough for my Sept 1 firing. I've been helping my daughters learn how to ride bikes which brought back memories of crashing over and over again until I got it figured out. It's a good metaphor for making pots and trying to get them right. After a while it just flows like that. I've been culling "the collection" as it has become known as, pottery and artwork from as far back as my university days in Tennessee. That's where the hammer is such a friend to a potter. A lot of the stuff I got rid of wasn't of any importance and the act of breaking one's bad pots is an act of joyful release.

Way back in the early days I had a high school student work for me after she came home from school. She was high energy, confused about some things, but sure about a lot for her age. Emily would come to the shop in the afternoon full of rage some days. So we would just go out to the "rock" with a couple of pots reserved just for that very moment. In those days that grade of pottery was plentiful and we would sometimes need to throw several pots. A scream was also in order as one threw at the rock. That was the way we rolled then. Now Emily is going to Alfred to work on her PhD in Ceramics! I am so proud of you, Emily, formally known to Shapiro and I as "the shredder"! Check out this article about Emily.

I am no stranger to angst, and apparently it comes and goes with many of us potters. As basket weaving became a cliche for an easy grade in college course work, potters have gotten a label of eternally peaceful at their wheels and always smiling. Mostly it's true, it is joyful work, I can't think of a better way to live. But this career comes with its foibles and its sucker punches. It's back breaking work and its competitive. It's archaic in these times of high tech and yet it's essential as an antidote to the massed produced plastics that have invaded every corner of our kitchen. Some of us use wood and local materials as a reminder of the old ways, we carry that torch for better and for worse.
After a good soaking rain last night, in the words of George Harrison,
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right