When I sit at the potter’s wheel I think about family celebrations, and the bowls that were chosen because they kept the soup especially hot. Or the platter that had to be used because it made the ravioli easy to serve. I remember my mother’s pride in setting the birthday cake she created in the middle of the table. I remember the bucket brigade of heaving platters being passed from one cousin to the next down the infinitely long holiday table at my grandmother’s house. Every time I make a bowl or platter or cake stand or wine cup I picture it becoming part of someone’s lifetime of communing with family and friends. Sure, a pot has to look good. But it is even more important that it functions well, feels good when passed, and enhances the food that it carries.
I love working with clay because it is so malleable and expressive. And the process is interactive. Sometimes I sit at the wheel with a lump clay and have an idea about what I want to create. Sometimes the lump of clay has a stronger idea of what it wants to become. I feel that some of my best pots develop when I let the clay become what it wants to be, rather than imposing my preconceived plan on it.