Saturday, March 7, 2009

Family of Potters

I wonder if the pots I make were to go to a "reunion" of the pots that have influenced them, would they find it funny that they shared certain characteristics or had similar gestures? Would they be able to see which side of the family they were from by physical similarities, or share similar quirks in their personalities!? Would they find it humorous or would they be horrified on some level? Would they realize that they really weren't that unique in the scheme of things?
We, as potters, can trace personal influences and may remember when we first saw someone throw a pot. During the course of finding my own voice, I find that it is more a matter of continuing the good ideas of the past. By doing so I find "cousins" I didn't know I had. Our own histories are sometimes vague and memories fade, but we find kinship in the pots others make. We are more alike than we may think. The pots we make are born from the past. Some may say that this point of view is 'nostalgic', but I like to think of this process as being part of a greater truth, a continuum. Good ideas make the way for even better ones, they build on themselves.

These are just a few thoughts I had just now. Maybe I will elaborate or correct some of these thoughts as I digest them. Please feel free to share your thoughts on being a potter or being a collector of pots. How do you see your work or your collection? Does it bring together certain ideas or does it reveal your own personality in some way?

[images taken from "Ash Glaze: Traditions in Ancient China and the American South" by Daisy Wade Bridges. I bought my copy at the NC Pottery Center gift shop.]