This is my in my kitchen. I took off all the cabinet doors... I have to see these every day. I've made it customary that wherever I rent..I always remove the cabinet doors. It really turns the kitchen into a tiny little gallery.
Here is Trevor Dunn, Owen Rye, a spouted bowl of mine, a slab of clay by Carrie Smith and one of my favorite prints. Trevor gave me this "Cantado" or whatever he calls them to me after helping him his last year of graduate school. I split wood for his firings, mixed clay and helped him fire. He's a dear friend and I felt lucky to have my pick from his thesis show. The bottle is from Owen Rye, which I purchased after a firing and workshop he did at USU. I think he is one of the most intelligent wood fire guys I've met- calm, methodical, logical..and so old he doesn't take anybody's shit or really give a fuck, yet he still cares. The spouted bowl I made during the last double-wide reduction cooled wood firing I participated in at USU before I left. It was a dandy of a firing..and I have many good memories hanging with my friends and teachers, stoking wood and having a great time. The massive slab of Jingdezhen porcelain I picked up while in China a few years back from a woman I met at the Pottery Workshop. She was really sweet...and we talked for a long time about the levels of Jingdezhen porcelain..and how the purest actually "glows" blue. Have you seen it? It's phenomenal.
This piece, made by Tony Clennell titled, "Yellow Mountain" was given to me as a gift from the maker. Tony made this as a tribute to our experience in China while climbing a mountain called, ironically, Yellow Mountain. To say the least I was glad to be there for Tony and will treasure this piece and the memory of that day as long as I live. The little teacup was made and given to me by Lee Kyang Ho while I was in Korea last summer. I and a few others went to the Lee studio and drank tea for some 3 or 4 hours. Lee and his wife were two of the most kindest people I met during that trip.
I think a lot of potters collect other pots. I have pots that I've made around the house but i don't keep them out for very long, just long enough to test and see, to use and critique...then get rid of them. I think others make way better pots then I do. And plus, when you use a piece of somebody else's you get to know them a little more, especially if you knew them when that particular piece was made. So even now, as I sit in my house, alone, I have many friends near and close to me. Most of them I met while in Utah, California and some from other places... as far as China and Korea. If you were here in my house, I could give you a story for every pot, just like I did earlier in this post. Those are just a drop in the bucket, but the biggest and best drops.
The story, the unseen, the parts about pots that are felt with the heart are what I really love. I'm not only drinking from a teacup that was given to me while in Korea, but I'm drinking from a husband and wife's beautiful smile and welcoming manner when I was so lucky to visit their studio. I'm not only eating from a bowl that Josh DeWeese made, but seeing his bright eyes, bushy mustache or hearing his infectious laugh . Knowing the potter behind the piece is the way I like to collect.
I'm happy and honored to be apart of this living tradition of pottery making. I couldn't imagine any other way of living. So to all of you pottery makers..I salute you.