When I was in elementary school, my mother looked around desperately for some activity that I could do. And enjoy. In other words, it was an uphill battle for both her and I, as I didn’t like to stand out as a kid, and, well, in several ways, either through brains or physical characteristics or poor social skills on my part, I stood out. For example:
I wanted to take ballet lessons at one point, but I had a ridiculously short inseam (as in I couldn’t get my toes onto the bar), and I was roly poly in all the wrong places to ever look right in a tutu.
I was a decently skilled seamstress and cookie baker by the ripe old age of 10, which made me eligible to do “special projects” within my 4-H group. Those projects only served to accentuate my different-ness from the other girls, who were learning beginner sewing and beginner kitchen skills.
And so on.
Mom finally stumbled on the idea of sending me to pottery class. After the first day of taking out some pent up energy on a potter’s kick wheel and getting to play with dirt, I was hooked. I continued to take pottery lessons all through high school, and eventually made most of my own dishes throughout high school and college.
Fast forward a decade and a half, factor in several household moves, a couple of dishwashing fumbles, and a cat who got up on a counter full of dirty dishes one night after a get together with friends… end result: I was in the market for more pottery for my cupboards.
As a self-employed artist, I feel it is my duty to help support other people like me, so buying a special piece from one potter at one event, and trading with another potter at another event, etc. ensures that I am helping redistribute my wealth (such as it is) to foster artists’ whose work I appreciate. And hey, if it furthers my goal of having a higgledy-piggledy collection of dishes, so much the better. Matching china is boring, and I would like nothing better than to host a Thanksgiving dinner some year for my nearest and dearest where no more than three dishes on the table match.
If it hasn’t pinged your synapses yet, sprinkled throughout this article are photographs of some of the dishes I bought or traded for lately, and links to each potter’s respective online shop.
Viva la Revolution! Up the rebels. Buy handmade.