The Power of Pots

"One of the highlights of the Utilitarian Clay Symposium last year at Arrowmont was the panel discussion “Potters Favorite Pots”. There is something so raw and revealing when potters talk about fellow potters pots. My peers shared heart-felt and personal stories that illustrated the emotional significance that pots carry. The following is the story I shared."

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Discovering a Favorite

"Like many people who have a collection of handmade pots, I’m often asked, 'Which pot is your favorite?'  And, as many may agree, this is a tough question to answer.  The beautiful thing about handmade pots is that they each have a unique story. Interactions between the potter and the pot are recorded in every detail.  Process markings then become modes of communication between the maker and the user.  I believe that in using handmade wares, we become more in tune with the significance of human interaction."

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Utilitarian Clay VI Symposium

"Bill and I decided early on to focus the UC VI symposium on a group of artists considered to be in the ‘early-career’ phase of their métier.  It was in part a recognition of the sea-change of sorts afoot in our field, as well as knowing that the tried and true template of the symposium could/should embrace the change;  this was a departure from the previous symposium’s rubric of an even distribution of early, mid, and late career artist."

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The History of Utilitarian Clay: Celebrate the Object National Symposium

"In the spring of 1990, Michael Simon, well respected studio potter from Georgia was teaching a one week workshop at ArrowmontSchool of Arts and Crafts.  Bill Griffith, then the Assistant Director of Arrowmont approached Michael at the end of the workshop session and asked for Michael’s thoughts about Arrowmont hosting a conference with a focus on making pottery.  Michael liked the idea and commented, 'if you do a conference about pottery, I hope you celebrate the object, damn it!' "

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