Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?
How many times have I been asked this question over the years? Too many to count, and I think that I would give a different answer each time, depending on where I was in my evolution as a potter.
When I was younger, this question would send me into a whirl as I groped around in my cluttered mind for an appropriate answer. At first all I could say was that I really loved form and I thought that most of my inspiration came from the classical period. Ancient work intrigued me. Who was the potter? What clues did they leave behind in their work for me to study? How had time affected the surface of the vessel? What were the vessel’s weak points? I thought there would be nothing more engrossing than going to ancient Greece to study the work of potters who had gone before me. That was when I was a baby potter, age 14…
Now I’m a mid-career potter with many years of creative exploration behind me. Questions about inspiration no longer throw me into inner turmoil, as inspiration itself is no longer a mystery to me.
Just about everything inspires me, but ultimately, it is the art of creating itself that is the biggest inspiration. I work all the time, and I find that more work inspires more work. Each piece interconnects with previous ones, and they all have in common a pursuit of beauty and simplicity. The more I immerse myself in the world of beauty and creation, the more I want to create; it has become an insatiable desire.
Occasionally my customers will share with me their experiences of living with my decorative pieces or functional work. This is always touching to me, as I put a lot of myself into each piece. To hear how the beauty of the work affects people is humbling.
One of the favorite comments about my functional work came from a child who noticed a small porcelain bowl in the studio. “Look mommy,” she cried, “It’s just like the bowl we all fight over!” How happy I felt to know how much they all loved their bowl and how prized it was. I like to imagine that starting their day eating cereal from a bowl I made brought an element of beauty to their morning routine and so set the tone for the day. Inspiring.