Clay Thoughts: Mugs

For a long time I thought I understood my deep devotion to the idea of functional art.  It seemed simple to me:  functional art is art you can use and see everyday.  Art you can see every day is good.  As counterpoint:  Any day you can see art is a better day.

Now I’m back in the clay studio (thank you Carolina Clay Connections), I realize it’s more than that.  When I create something usable, I make a connection to the person who is going to use it.  It’s the same thing I do when I bake a batch of cookies, or send “break-n-bakes” (frozen cookie dough blobs) to a college student far from home.  I’m trying to send care and attention to them, in some tangible way.  Now, for sure, if I start making lots and lots of pots, I’m not going to interact in the same way with a stranger who likes and buys my work.  But, for me, that act of sitting down at the wheel to make something is sending a message in a bottle.  “Here,” it says, “sit down, take a moment to relax and nourish or tend yourself.”  That act of making lets me tend and nourish myself.

Here’s to the idea of sending care to the Universe.  May your cup runneth over…


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