I had a fantastic winter vacation/holiday. I traveled to Black Mountain Studios to work for Austin and Maud Boleman. I go there about twice a year to make pots for them. It is a collaborative studio where multiple people work to make pottery that is stamped with the BMS logo. I really enjoy spending time with them. We make pots all day and play spades at night. This time I completed 110 Bowls of various sizes (salsa to Larger serving bowl) and I started about 30 platters, tea pots, and casseroles that they will have to complete. It was productive and a lot of fun.
I spent the Christmas holiday between both of my parents houses. My girlfriend came this year which gave me a whole new perspective on my family dynamic. I didnt realize how large my family was until I saw the look of overwhelming shock on Erin's face when we had 22 people at my fathers for dinner on Christmas evening. I am so used to the pandamonium that I didn't realize how crowded it is. We eat in shifts because the table isnt big enough.
As I look at these images now I realize my sense of decoration comes from my father. His house is a covered with objects that somehow seem to squeeze into the same space. Every inch is covered with paintings, pictures, collections of elephants, birds and pigs.
I had a teacher ask my once if I had horror vacui (literally: fear of empty spaces, also known as cenophobia) which is the filling of the entire surface of an artwork with detail. I'm not sure about that because Im not afraid to leave space undecorated. For me there is pleasure in decoration. If it feels good then why not do it until you cant do it anymore? I find that I am attracted to pots, rugs, and paintings that have dense rich surfaces. So if I get asked this again I'll blame it on my family aesthetic. I come from a long line of overcrowded spaces.
On Christmas afternoon I got out our old family Bible. This Bible is huge. It weighs at least 20 lbs and is approx. 12 x 9 inches. I love to look at my great great grandmother Serilda's handwriting. She kept a written record of the family from the 1890's to the 1950's. It is amazing how much power this book has. It was not only a religious text but it was a ledger of all the important family events. Marriages, Births, Deaths, everything was marked in very elegant cursive handwriting. Its nice to have such a direct physical connection to my ancestors. There is no equivalent to this in my life today. We haven't updated the details in the Bible in many generations. I think we would have to add new sheets to the notes section. I also got to see one of my great great grandfathers hand held copies of the new testament from the 1870's. We still have a pair of delicate wire rim spectacles too.
Heirlooms are my greatest influence. I'm interested in the power they contain and the power makers have in recording both the past and the present simultaneously. My pots are the personal expression of my collective family experience. I think about my pots as potential heirlooms.