Sunday, July 22, 2012

pots and wine

I'm not a huge wine fan...   I'm a cold beer and whiskey kind of guy.  I know right?  All those damn wood-fire guys and gals just love their whiskey and beer.  What can I say though.. we have exceptional taste.  Yet being a beer/whisky guy, when I'm offered a private tour and free tasting with one of my sisters.. I gotta do it.  Yesterday I had my first wine-tasting experience.  And of all places my first happened in Napa, wine capitol of California at the Del Dotto winery. 

And how in the world can Wine have anything to do with Pottery?  Wine making is an art.  Our guide, Walter (from Spain, nice guy dating my sister) was talking about wine and it's making process almost exactly like potters talk about clay and it's process.  One of the main points he kept bringing up was knowing everything about the materials he was using.  From the type of wood, where it grew, how old/young, soil, length of time, temperatures... blah blah blah...  and as we were drinking from a ton of different barrels (Walter kept giving me more wine then everybody else..By the end I felt really good!) and walking through these dank storage caves.. I thought to myself...  

in anything we make.. it's so incredibly important to understand the material.  Knowing and understanding all the way down to a microscopic level.  This might sounds hoky as hell, but if we, as makers, can really get down to the grit of what we're using, (how's why's when's) we can have countless varieties, strains, clones, whatever of whatever we want to make...   wow, nice use of words there, "whatever of whatever".  but that's alright.  i like how it sounds.  

So I'm going to continue to get to know my clay...  and one day a particularly successful strain of ideas and execution of technique will show up.... and I'll charge a whole lot of money for it. HA!  The most expensive wine I tried that day..was $250 a bottle.  I bet I could sell a bottle for $250! 


  1. I'd like to do that! Both taste the wines and get to know our materials as a wise potter.

  2. Hiya Bobby,

    So ya struck a chord, or vein with this post.

    Instinct, gained by joyously filling ware boards til the throwing is unlinked from the constraint of being thought out radius by radius.

    That's one flow

    Then knowledge, learning the chemistry, the character of the materials.

    Another flow

    That fish you like to tickle from the river is the story. The perfect design to fit and flourish in the eddies and currents of these flows. Scales to break the big eddies so the story can run even against the current. Flexibility to embrace the big eddy to go new places.

    The story, the interplay of knowledge and instinct and one's soul. And in our work the scroll of our evolution, our story. At its best I think that's what we really make.

    We makers of things.

    Not drinking, got a fever,