Sunday, July 15, 2007

pot off!

When you have a group of potters in the house, a little competiton is called for. We had a pot off on Sunday with two categories of competition: who could throw the most cups in 15 minutes, and who could throw the tallest form in 10 minutes. Ryoji and Park were the most formidable and were therefore given handicaps—Park threw on a kick wheel and Ryoji threw on his first wheel. He built it himself and there are only 30 revolutions per minute. The sad thing is, he still beat us all.

time to expand

Being a ceramic artist puts you in a community where when you meet another potter, you have an instant connection because you understand all the heartache and difficulty-and the joy and accomplishment-that goes into creating work. So much can go wrong at every stage of creation. I think it's probably like parenthood, how parents understand each other in a way that non-parents cannot.

Participating in this residency has put me in a wider world community of potters, and even though we have some language barriers, we all come in with a certain understanding of one another and there is communication despite lack of language comprehension. It reminds me of when I first started going to Grateful Dead concerts as a teenager. I got hooked on going to shows because I felt like I was in a community of people who were interested in living life in the way I wanted to live it too. That was the first time I ever felt that feeling of love and support from strangers and I continue to find it in my clay community

And like following the Grateful Dead, you can also tour around the globe, hooking up with residency programs and visiting with the potters you meet there in their home countries. There is a whole other ceramic scene out there, and now I know this is only the first time I will be traveling the world for my work. And at the same time I can indulge my other passion: experiencing different cultures.