Winding in and out of clay

The moment one gives close attention to anything, 
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
~Henry Miller

first teapot made on my brand new wheel-2006
My studio was a mess. A big jumbled mess.  Moving a studio was harder than I anticipated.  There were things in there from the dawn of my clay time. It was time for the hammer and trash bin. Sorting and re-evaluating what is necessary and what is not. 

stages of Change
Easily distracted,  I wound my way through unglazed pots and failed experiments.
Of things saved and forgotten.  
Kept bits of things just in case I forget how to do something.  
As though the magic should slip away and these little bits would bring it back.
Practicality was the name of the game.  Anything gathering dust would have to go.  
In the corner sat my wheel.
My first ceramic love, the first thing I bought for my studio. 
Lost beneath discarded things piled on top as if a pack mule.

All summer The Excuse blurted out, hurriedly, with a blush, "The sea calls and I haven't time to make pots!  Maybe next week after I finish a few sculptures I will get back to you." 

And off I would go.  Again and again. 
Only returning with Autumn at my heels to take a peek at the wheel.
Knowing a decision needed making.
A decision that winds in and out of me.
That changes with the tides.
I find my way to my wheel to throw one last pot. 
Winding in and out
 Clay washes over me.
And I fall in love all over again. 


  1. Your first teapot is wonderful! It is really lovely! I love it. The use of green reminds me of Oribe.

    Recently, I took some pictures of so-called weeds. Most of the flowers were tiny but I was surprised by the beauty that I found in the delicate little flowers that seemed to bloom as the seasons change. "~even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself" I think the quote is so true!

    You're lucky because your studio WAS a mess. But my study IS a mess. I'm not good at cleaning.

    1. hello sapphire--you make me smile with such kind words and your reference to Oribe.
      I love Oribe ware. Especially the trays with handles. There a playfulness I find in the quick brushstrokes and the artful pouring of glaze. Purposeful in every sense.

      I am sure your making mess is purposeful, too. A messy study or studio is far more interesting than one that is neat and tiny :)

  2. As the wheel of the year turns, so does your pottery wheel.
    Come full circle.

    I hope to get out to my wheel when the weather warms up. It is situated outside, only under a covered roof, so it has been too bitterly cold to venture there.

    I too so admire your first teapot - please say it escaped the hammer. What a glazed beauty it is :)

    1. I sold teapots made on the university's wheels to buy my very own wheel. I sold some very large handbuilt pots to buy a very old used kiln. After this teapot came out of the soda kiln I decided not to sell it. I still make my morning tea in it. ;)

  3. Hi Charlene, I enjoyed this post so much, thank you. The way you describe the clutter in your studio is wonderful, very poetic:) I too keep bits and pieces far longer than strictly you say, it's often to remind me how to do something, or the mistakes not to be made again! Sometimes it's difficult to throw flawed pieces away.. And so the work-space fills up and mine is now bursting at the seams..definitely time for a major spring clean, even though it's autumn. I love the tea pot too, the colours are so vibrant!

    1. Amulets and talismans.
      And charms. Maybe that is how it all started in prehistoric times.
      My studio was becoming a huge junk drawer so it was time.
      Now I can make new bits and pieces and have fresh charms and amulets to fil
      l my shelves and soul.

  4. A lovely post, or poem. I also like the quote, too. I was the child mesmerised by beautifully formed and designed leaf in the garden. I bet you were, too! : )

    1. I still have things stuffed in my pockets. I collect bits of things...pebbles,acorns,driftwood,etc.....collecting little bits of wonder....


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