Trimming a Stoneware Goblet

He smooths the surface of the goblet, smooths the curves and edges.  His fingertips have to be so sensitive to every variation of the clay.

I’ve been watching him at the wheel since 1993 and I never get tired of watching his hands on clay.  Never.

Appreciation for Skill

One side effect of video taping John throwing pottery these past weeks is a greater appreciation for what he does, the skill he’s developed.  Watch his fingertips, how softly he touches the goblet, his delicate touch with the loop tool while he trims one little bit after another from the foot or stem of the goblet.

Commitment

And here is the most amazing thing about John.  He does it over and over and over, giving each goblet his 100% attention. Day in.  Day out. Some potters look down on production and studio potters.  They say, ‘I am not a machine’ or ‘I am not a factory’ as if there is something wrong with developing the skill, passion and dedication to make one piece after another as though it was the first one and as close as humanly possible.

Treasures

There’s a reason why the Japanese nation treats its potters, who have dedicated their lives to this craft, with great reverence.   Master Potters in Japan are National Treasures.  We could stand to look at our craftspeople with a little more respect.

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