“An artist who starts his career at the age of forty or fifty has no alternative but to do what he wants in the way suited for him”
– Shoji Hamada
from “Hamada Potter” by Bernard Leach
That’s me in my little booth on the first day of the season at the Trumansburg Farmer’s Market. The sun was shining, the hibiscus infused tea was being poured by adorable children, and the shelves were sturdy and beautiful- the other vendors were gaga over my shelves. Jeremy received much praise for them, and I even sold some pottery. It was a very good day.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry
A feast for the eyes:
There’s no “birth and death.” Birth and death arise. Death, by the way, is the opposite of birth. Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. Life is eternal. Life is consciousness itself. So, it’s not “life and death.” It’s “birth and death”; those are the opposites.
-Eckhart Tolle, “Realization Of Being”
“According to the Good Book, we are all created from clay, and as Nature had it so destined that no two of us are alike, all couldn’t be symmetrically formed, caused a variety to be wobble-jawed, hare-lipped, cross-eyed, all colors, bow-legged, knock-kneed, extra limbs, also minus the same, all sizes from 30 inches to 75 ditto. Everyone of us sees different, has a different voice, and don’t all like cabbage or chew tobacco!”
-George Ohr, the “Mad Potter of Biloxi”
From: A New Earth
by Eckhart Tolle
All creativity comes out of inner spaciousness. Once the creation has happened, and something has come into form, you have to be vigilant, so that the notion of “me” or “mine” does not arise. If you take credit for what you accomplished, the ego has returned, and the spaciousness has become obscured.
Centering: In Pottery, Poetry, And The Person by M. C. Richard
A capacity to yield is strengthened in the potter who does not merely use his material to certain ends, but who yields up his soul as well as his hands and his intelligence to his love of the clay. Once his soul is yielded up, the transformations of the clay will speak to him as his own. The inner laws of life will seem to be simultaneously unique centers spinning in continuous relation to each other. Peripheries will seem to breathe in and out like silken scarves. The art of the dancer in his nakedness and in his draperies suggests this self-indwelling and union of beings within the flesh. It is as if one could see how the life-body slips from the corpus; or how the body of another person’s feelings and thoughts enters one’s own, like lovers no longer truly separated by membrane or epidermis. It is a marriage of forces. It is a continuous dialogue.
First I’d like to thank my parents who gave birth to me, and Juan, without whom this website would not exist. And Jeremy, my husband, who gave me my first potter’s wheel, and built all my shelves, and fixes everything that breaks, and makes me tools out of wood. And Sasha, my daughter, who took my portraits for this website, and speaks her mind unreservedly when I ask for feedback. Thank you all so very much. I’m so happy, happy, happy to be making pots every day, and so happy that the internet exists for me to share my work with all who visit the site. Art made public by technology- a beautiful, mutually beneficial relationship.
“In pottery it is perhaps because of the fire that the sense of collaboration is so strong. The potter does everything he can do. But he cannot burst into flame and reach a temperature of 2300 degrees Fahrenheit for a period varying from eight hours to a week and harden plastic clay into rigid stone, and transform particles of silica and spar into flowing glaze. He cannot transmute the dull red powder that lies upon the biscuited ware into a light-responsive celadon. He can only surrender his ware to the fire, listen to it, talk to it, so that he and the fire respond to each other’s power, and the fired pot is the child.”
– M. C. Richards, 1962