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!
It was 1972. My senior year of high school. Lincoln School. A Quaker girls school. I was a boarding student. The prefect balance of strict and freedom. Strict was the dark green and grey uniform. No jewelry or makeup. No room for personal expression. Everyone on equal ground. Study hall every night and Saturdays. Academics were strenuous. Freedom took form in the nurturing of a passion. I was allowed in the Art Room whenever I had any free time. In Art Class individuality was fostered. Peace, love, Woodstock, ecology, Vietnam. Bellbottoms, patched jeans, Marimekko and Peter Max. Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Still, Nash and Young. Then it was time to pick a photo and quote for the yearbook. We had two actually. One in our uniform and one that was personal with a chosen quote. And so here is mine. Not sure I where my quote came from so long ago. There’s no credit as there was none. Back then my interpretation was pretty literal. Today I would say it goes much deeper. Not sure I’m making my mark but I’m trying.
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.
“”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.
I just wanna be a mermaid! No more bad hair days because there would be no frizz under water. And think how light one would feel being buoyant. You wouldn’t have to figure out what to wear every day. No uncomfortable undergarments. Need I say more?
As Juno leaves Neptune arrived! I am wondering how the Snowy Owl out on Sandy Neck has faired. I could not stop thinking about him/her as the storm raged once more. I’m huddling in my studio as the wind howls and the snow flies by. I hope the Owl is hunkered down out there. Perhaps it feels more at home in this weather than I do!