Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why do we buy and use other potter's pots?

 Why do we buy, use and love the work of other potters?

What is the appeal from one clay worker to the next.  Is it the shared medium of clay?  Or, is it the language that the clay can speak from us as well as to others.
How often do you hear a customer say, this speaks to me.
Or, as often, have them walk away saying, nothing speaks to me today.
When that happens I cast an eye on my pots and think, what is wrong with you all, cat got your tongue? 

There are pots that have grabbed my attention over the years and I can look around and see that I tend to fall for teapots.

 It is not for the reason of making tea it seems that my reasons are a bit like falling in love, over and over again.
I love you, these teapots have whispered to me. You need me, they call.
And I fall down the rabbit hole once again.

The Gene Kelly, the Fred Astaire, the reaching out of spout and the classiness of a well placed handle, the lift of the spout.  They beckon and call, and I answer.
  Then there are the ones that seem so simple, yet, are not.
 You are sweet, just fit in my hand.
I can turn you over and over looking and finding your simple elegance. A stamp here and a stamp there. I can look at you and see how you were held and thought about.

Maybe it is that.

The fact we can read the pot much like someone reads a book.
I love a good line in a book or song.
I also love a good line in a pot.

 I have my roots in pottery from a place where pottery was simple, made to use. The majority of the items had a purpose, tableware, eating, drinking, storing. The theme of daily use runs through the old pots. And yet, there are ones like this small Rebecka Jug that do not have a use for serving,cooking or eating. More like the early I don't need it but I want it pottery.
I found this small Rebecka in a second hand shop in 1976-77ish.
It was tucked back in housewares for 5.00.
I have always thought it was 5.00 well spent.
At the time I bought it I was not a potter, I did not know I would one day make pottery. I just knew it was made in Seagrove by a local potter. Later I would meet Joe Owen the maker.
I don't own but a pot of two that I don't know the maker.
I think that is why we also buy pottery from potters. We get to know who you are through your work.
It speaks to us, or not.

The pottery in the house runs from one extreme to another, maybe like the inner workings of my mind. I found I could never collect one person, one type of pottery, one region, one state.

What about you?
When you look around is there a wide variety in your own house that has brought you many years of joy.
Do you buy things that are only useful to you or is it the love that draws you in.
I still think that pottery is the most useful art form there is. One that can be accessed by almost anyone. It can start with a simple bowl or mug. An item that holds your morning oatmeal and cup of coffee. Then you find you need a plate for toast and jam. They feed you in many ways that a plastic or molded import just can not.

I always wonder when someone says that can not afford handmade items. I have pottery here that has outlasted the maker, that will someday outlast even me.
Sure there are times that a pot breaks when it does, we mourn, we move on. After all it is not the last cup on the face of the earth. We love to say, just break it, we can make more.

I am sure that we could talk about pottery all day, but there are things to be done.


Lori Buff said...

We have lots of pots from other potters. Often we know the potter but always it's purchased because of the love of the pot at least. They are all useful in that they make us happy.

That reminds me, I should post more pots that I love articles on my blog.


smartcat said...

Teapots call to me. It was one of my Nanu's teapots that fascinated me as a little girl....little did I know!

I don't always remember the name of the potter who made my many cups and mugs, but I love the feeling of holding and drinking from another potter's mug. It's even more special when I know the potter

I agree with Lori I should post more of my loved pots.

Favorite Friday?

cookingwithgas said...

Favorite Friday... could be on to something good.
I sometimes look at those early pots I loved- many were just there for daily use.

Erin Paasch said...

Methinks a Loren Lukens teapot would be right up your alley


Laurie said...

--"They feed you in many ways that a plastic or molded import just can not." I couldn't agree more. So glad & Mark you do what you do!

Michèle Hastings said...

I gravitate towards pots that I can use, but I also love pots that are odd and interesting shapes... and use them to eat out of! Jeff and I both have a weakness for small cups. It's a good thing we like small cups because we are running out of room!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

not too many speak to me very loudly, but your top collection of teapots shouts at me for sure, mmmm lovely :)

cookingwithgas said...

there is always room for one more... Some of those pots do have a shout out about them.

Gail said...

Love the tea pots. I have several favorite potters in and around Salt Lake City and I use all the wares I've purchased from them.

Tracey Broome said...

I will have people come to my studio or my booth at a show and say, "well I am buying a gift for a potter, I'm not sure if they would want to be given pottery" and I say, are you kidding? that's al I ever buy! Potters love to buy pottery, and I think you are right, we buy it because we can read the pot, it's like a story that unfolds as we discover things about the piece. I will never own enough. I have pieces that belonged to my grandmother, and would love to know their stories, like I know the stories of the work I own. I could only hope to have a collection like you have though!

Trish said...

It is knowing that someone 'of like mind' has put their heart and soul into a piece and feeling that when I hold it in my hands. I, too, love my small but growing collection. :)..and yes, favourite Fridays! Thanks for the post, Meredith.
Wonderful Wednesday to you!

Aunt Snow said...

Wow, what wonderful teapots!! I love older pottery, but I'm not that familiar with new working artists. I should spend more time here at your blog!!


Aunt Snow

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Funny...my friend Larry who also loves pottery and has several potter friends was visiting last week. I put out a bowl of something and that led to a pottery discussion. Pretty soon, the entire kitchen counter was covered in bowls from different potters. I tend to buy in person on impulse and because I just instantly love something. Shopping on line I tend to get things I need or know exactly what i will use them for. Or at least that's what I tell myself to justify buying MORE BOWLS!

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