Lately I am paying much more attention to serendipity. It seems to be cropping up more than usual in my life. It all started when I was walking on the beach in a very focused manner looking for sea glass. I did not find a single piece. Then I stopped searching and there it was right at my feet. Finding sea glass is like finding love. When I wasn’t searching I found it. Love, sea glass, and serendipity. Keep it coming!
“The way to know life is to love many things.” Van Gogh
One Word = One Cup. For the past three years as the new year began, I have picked a word to explore. “Forward” was my word for 2013. In 2014 it was “Grace”. And in 2015 I chose “Give”. These are not New Year’s Resolutions. They are words to live and learn from. In a nutshell I chose “Forward” because I was feeling stuck. “Grace” because I was recovering from surgery and needed to accept my physical limitations. Then “Give” because I wanted to figure out how to give back through my work. But stuff happens! Last year I got knocked off course by a fractured vertebra and spent a long time recovering (that word “Grace” came in handy again)! So my word for 2016 is a repeat. Give! I designed this one little cup with big hopes. One Cup= 100% of the profits to a local charity. So hopefully many “Cups” will sell and many charities will benefit. I’m starting my “One Cup Movement”, one little cup at a time! One Cup = Give!
I was asked to make a vessel for her mother’s ashes. There was never any question that I would make one. It was an honor. A privilege to be a part of this last journey. I had known her mother all my life. She had cared for me as a child. She was my neighbor. And throughout my career as a Potter, she had been a great supporter of my work. Her daughter told me there was never any question that she wanted me to make this vessel. She was confident that whatever I made would be reflective of her mom. I may have physically crafted this vessel but it’s design came from her spirit watching over the entire process. I was completely unaware of this while making the piece. It flowed together over the days and when I finished and really looked at it for the first time, I knew she had been with me all along . A girl who always had sand in her shoes and a seashell in her pocket.
“Not all who wander are lost?” or is it “All who wander are not lost?” I apologize to the author. Was it Emerson or Thoreau? I know I could goggle it but I’m not going there. I am lost. Not the “good” kind reflected in this quote above. Not the getting lost the beauty of art, music, nature or love. Not the getting lost in a daydream. I’ve lost my way creatively. I’m stuck. Moving neither forward or back. It’s really frustrating, uncomfortable, exhausting and overwhelming. I’ve been here before. It goes with the territory of creative pursuit. So how do I get out of here? Perhaps wandering is the answer.
“Kate’s Find” is a piece inspired by my daughter who is a wanderer in the good sense.
“”I am made of Potter’s thoughts. When I break, I will be gone.” John Neis, Potter, Pennsylvania 1785-1867
I love this quote. I have it hanging up in my studio. It gives me a pause each time I read it. What are my thoughts? What am I thinking each time I make a piece? Do my hands translate them into the piece? When the pot breaks will my thoughts be gone? Where? I think my hands have memory. Memories of every pot I have ever made go into each successive piece. So as long as I am making pottery, my thoughts remain.