Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mug Drawing and Spring Unfurling

Springtime! That means the leaf buds are swelling, the squirrels have dug out my tulip bulbs and eaten them, and I have drawn the winner for the mug lottery for subscribers to an RSS feed to my blog. S won. Nice for me- I just have to walk the mug on over. S has been under the weather, and busy, so she hasn’t picked it up, but I will bring it to her today, and she will have a new mug for her coffee. The rest of you- thanks for playing along!

It took me a while to post this, loyal readers! First bronchitis, then a basement flood, then a sneezing, barking, nose-roughening cold got me, but I did the drawing on March 17 as promised. So a green (and blue) mug goes to S!

Somewhere between the ailments and small natural disaster, I made it into the studio to produce some bowls. Inventory was somehow thin on these staples. With spring minutes away, I reverted to childhood and (though rain was lashing down sideways and seeping inventively through the foundation of our house), I imagined lying on my stomach in the spring grass, just as I used to, studying the roots and stems stretching to the newly reinvigorated sun. I could almost smell the good (though rocky) Spring Valley soil damp with the first wild scallions and early grass blades. One jar of black underglaze, one long and flowing and one short-tipped brush later, I was happily brushing grass blades all over the outside of my just-made bowls, drawn from my child’s-eye nirvana among the roots and soil. Just for fun I brushed a touch of tracks- slug? ant?- inside the bowls.

There’s something about a child’s-eye view that remains imprinted on the psyche long after one is grown. There she is, Nature in the form of that humble carpet, the American lawn, living and breathing in my brush and underglaze, with art springing from the unconscious between between the living memory and the brushing of the strokes that describe it. Spring!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pottery Rhythms


Purring like a cat, the heat pipes
gurgle on and off sleepily through the hours,
a long-breathing rhythm overhead
rumbling like a living pet-
and music's on in the studio
while clay shavings peel away beneath
my trimming tool like
skin off an apple, and
the bottom of a cereal bowl
is shaped and smoothed.
Phone rings and I don't answer.
Rather hear the purring
of the pipes, my potter's wheel turning,
these blues thumping and wailing
than chatter. Another hour
Everything can go on without me.
I love this dusty vault
this cluttered order
these spinning bowls one then
another. Conversations
between the senses.