|four stoneware bowls with square-cut foot. shino and oribe glaze, 2007|
|stoneware tea set in shino, 2007|
as an undergraduate i read George Lindbeck as a part of a religion class. his basic (paraphrased) premise is that culture and language cannot be separated. for example: i, as a midwestern-american-english-with-a-drawl-more-like-a-slur potter, cannot make a chawan because i do not speak japanese nor do i come from the culture that produced the works i admire. bummer. it made me think about what a midwestern-american-english-with-a-drawl-more-like-a-slur cup looks like. we don't have a tea ceremony. no need for a tea bowl, except to look pretty on the mantle with the wooden box behind it, displayed proudly. we typically buy cheap designed-for-the-masses, chinese made dishes from wal-mart. buying the pretty pattern and trusting it not to have lead in the enamel painting. i gave up on the idea of trying to make a chawan. but not on the ideas that spawned the chawan. the simple notion of being aware enough to be affected.
|series of Pittsburgh mugs (available here)|
|relief-print porcelain mugs, 2011|
i drink coffee every morning. black as hell. and made in a rather gross mr. coffee. but i drink it out of a cool mug. that's as important to me as the coffee in the mug. i hate drinking from a wal-mart mug. it's just dull. and i don't like dull shit. and because drinking coffee is such a ritual part of my life, i think that the mug should likewise be thought of as a ritual vessel, like a chawan, but in the form of a midwestern-american-english-with-a-drawl-more-like-a-slur coffee mug.