By Joy Houser
Originally published on February 16, 2017
What do you see when looking at a piece of pottery? I used to simply think, “wow, how beautiful!” while never imagining all the universal sources that came together to form this enchanted piece of art.
The versatility of ceramics has been celebrated throughout the world for thousands of years, creating a rich history which reflects the ideas and experiences of the makers.
For me, “it” all began when a friend I was working with in Richmond, Virginia excitedly said her daughter just opened a pottery studio and would I be interested in joining? So began my astonishing 21-year true love relationship with clay. I immediately found myself addicted to our connection while holding a clump in my hands for the first time and asking “now what?”. “What” I soon discovered was a magic material that instantly became my soul source of inner peace – genuinely spiritual. “What” I was holding, at its most basic, was *igneous rock particles, water, and millions of years of sweet time.
Subsequently, over the span of a couple decades, I breathlessly learned how extremely enjoyable it is to work with one of the world’s most versatile substances. Clay and glaze, fired to temperatures high enough to produce ceramic, can create almost any shape, texture, color, or pattern imaginable. This fusing together of earth’s materials can produce gem-like qualities, making the exploration of ceramics a grand pseudoscience that’s sincerely mind blowing. Because the boundaries are so wide, truly almost limitless, your imagination takes flight like a hundred colorful kites becoming one with the winds of your mind.
If you’re inspired into taking this journey, too, museums and libraries are a valuable source on ceramics, as is the World Wide Web. However, there’s nothing as priceless or stunning as taking a class here in Port Huron, as I have, at Studio 1219 and holding millions of years of magic in your hands for the very first time.
*One of three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava.
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