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Getting Bowl Making in Hand

The 2020 Martin Empty Bowls kicks off with an online event in just two short weeks! The ceramics studio this time of year becomes Bowl Central. While I am excited by the challenge of taking the Empty Bowls event online, I am saddened that we will not be gathering for our wonderful mega soup potluck and fellowship. Making pots is much of the time at the top of my list of Most Enjoyable Tasks, and writing is right up there too. So I am going to periodically (daily) take a break from bowl making to spend a few minutes sharing my thoughts about Empty Bowls, fellowship & community, pottery making and Soup.

A lot of thoughts spin through my mind while the clay spins through my hand. I will use this forum the next few weeks to share some of them with you. Today I was thinking about the amount of clay that goes into making the bowls for Empty Bowls. If I do get 1200 bowls this year, and I am using 1.25 pounds of clay, roughly, per bowl; that is 1,500 pounds of clay. My back ache just typing those words!

I spend considerable time thinking about poetry. Some of you know that I share poems with my students at the start of each week. Potter, teacher, poet and friend, Jack Troy has a wonderful poem about being a potter in which he writes...

I have picked up, moved, shaped,

and lightened myself of many tons of clay,

and those tons lifted, moved, and shaped me,

delivering me to this living-space

I wake and move about in,

space perhaps equal to that I have opened and enclosed

in plate, cup, bowl, jug, jar.

I am thankful no one ever

led me to the pit I'd help to make in Earth,

or showed me all the clay at once.

I'm grateful no one ever said, There.

That heap's about a hundred fifty tons.

Go make yourself a life.

And oh, yes, here's a drum of ink.

See what you can do with that.

I wouldn't have known where to begin.

That poem is Containment from the collection of poems by Jack Troy titled, Calling the Planet Home.

Bowls Update:

153 bowls done

125+ ready to bisque fire

Saturday I threw 80 bowls

Sunday - 16

Until tomorrow, be thinking - given the choice, what would be your favorite soup to eat? Let us know! And point your friends toward this blog. Let's build community through conversation and sharing.

Be well, stay safe and eat soup!


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