Saturday, August 11, 2007

Potters and Lovers

If ever an artist is a lover to the medium—it is the potter to the clay.

Potter's hands are lover's hands--intimately involved in every process of the clay's preparation for the wheel.

Clay must be responsive to the potter's touch. It must be softened and kneaded in order to hold the pattern of the potter's design. The Potter's hands press and shape. They glide over the clay: pulling, pressing, pushing.

The potter has the purpose and the vision of the finished piece. The potter knows the properties and the characteristics of his clays—all the slight color, texture, and density differences. And he knows which one will best lend to his specific purpose.

The intimacy is immense. As the potter leans over the wheel, his breath blows the clay, his shadow hovers across it.

As the wheel begins to turn the potter centers the clay. Rarely do his hands leave it. And the image he sees in his artist's eye emerges. The clay becomes what the potter envisioned.

I am red clay on the bank of a river.

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