Shirushi
Shirushi, by Makiko Hattori

Last year’s big goal was to start teaching something. This year’s was to get the basement done. I’ve succeeded with both (and not without the strong support of my husband), and darn if it isn’t giving me momentum! Also on my list of goals big and small is to get out into the arts scene more often: there is some beautiful, inspiring stuff out there and it’s too easy for me to get in a rut that just has me exercising and getting outside, all the time. So, I’ve made a weekly goal to do just that. This week’s culture: the New Millennium Japanese Ceramics show at the Northern Clay Center.

One reviewer described the show as “saucy.” It’s an apt word choice: visiting this show added the right spice, or rather, smile to the day. Many of the pieces were playful, endearing but also alien – like Tribbles but far more awe-inspiring in the craftsmanship that was evident. For example, take the piece I photographed, above. I would love to know exactly how many hours the artist spent, crafting each one of those clay rosettes. This bowl/doughnut/platelet shape was massive – maybe 2.5 feet in diameter. It gave me pause, to think of the care, the focus, and the dedication required to pull off such a thing of beauty.

This realization is one of the reasons I’ve made this particular goal – to witness the variety of passions around me, here and in this life.

On a side note – my observation that it’s kind of a platelet shape is relates to why I visit Northern Clay every 6-9 months: I’ve done far too little sculpture in my life. One of the few projects that I can count was a blown-up model of a blood clot. Gooey, gross, whatever. Ninth grade. Shaping dough into shapes that speak to me though my hands was a great experience. I may take the vague suggestion of my friend Greg and take a pottery class, soon.

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