Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Understanding Family Dynamics Through Pottery

One Saturday in May, all four of us went to a local pottery studio for a family class. It dawned on me yesterday evening that each of our creations says a lot about the family member whose hands shaped the piece.

My seven-year-old son crafted this toad house. You don't get the full effect of the details from this snapshot. The back is covered in extra layers and various appendages which are, I strongly suspect, machine gun turrets. Because, of course, one never knows when a toad might be attacked in his or her own home.

This is my daughter's toad house. I think the big open doorway and skylight reflect her open personality (ok, ok - maybe I'm projecting) and it's hard to tell but there are these cute little traditional four-pane windows on the side. She also wrote "occupied" on the door frame.
I could go on and on with the psychoanalysis of my husband's bowl, but I'll try to control myself. He spent a lot of time cutting perfect strips of clay - all of them exactly the same width. I love the way it's perfectly straight on the outside but the inside seems to flow like water. Note that the stronger statement is on the outside and the softer statement is on the inside of the piece...hmmm....shall we take a look at mine now?

You're going to have to take my word on this (because it's not obvious from the picture) but my pottery is sort of inside out. The studio had these nifty stamps and I was drawn to one resembling a Native American sunburst design. I originally planned to stamp all around the outside of my planter but I couldn't get enough pressure. My stamp marks looked weak and unimpressive on the outside. So....I started stamping on the inside. That worked a lot better because I was able to get more pressure that way. The stronger statement of my piece is, therefore, on the INSIDE - the outside needs more strength and definition. (I won't even discuss the notable distinction that my creation is all white. That's one for the philosophers. Or not.)

 Perhaps I'm over-thinking our pottery just a wee bit...but then again, maybe not.

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