Permanence/Impermanence

Impermanence in ceramics… an oxymoron, as potters we strive for permanence.  Pottery is fired to 2300 degrees.  Pottery marks time, it is what we find in archaeological excavations, telling us about cultures from long ago. 

As a potter I hope that my pots will bring a lifetime of enjoyment and use for the people who own them, and some memory of the maker.  ‘Functional’, ‘useful’ and ‘beautiful’ are words I like to hear when it comes to my pottery.  The question I have asked myself the past few years is this:  can I leave my mark, making beautiful, useful, functional pots without them being permanent?  In my biodegradable urns I feel I have achieved this. I am making a piece of art that is only meant to last for a short time, but this short time is of utmost importance… the transition from life to death.  Rituals surrounding death have always included art, masks, body paint, pottery, objects, song and dance, which are meant to transition the person to the afterlife, and help sooth the grieving.  In making these urns I am following these ancient traditions.  I hope that what I create in the urns is a balm for the living, which helps to sooth the grief.   

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2 thoughts on “Permanence/Impermanence

  1. So beautiful Lucy and great outdoor photos! It’s been fun watching these evolve so quickly in the past year…and the reference to quilt patterns, threads and family are strong images in this last batch of urns. Love it!

  2. Thanks Tiff! What’s nice is that you have had the chance to see them in person, hold them in your hands and feel the texture and weight of them. Sometimes I wish the computer could have a virtual touch component to it. :)

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