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The Spirit of Sharing, Giving and Caring

Right from the get-go I am going to say..."Don't judge me!" I like Christmas, the lights, the food, the smells, the tree, the music; but most of all - the spirit. So yes, I have been listening to christmas music in the studio for almost a month now. I haven't imposed upon my students with christmas music, but maybe once. Though they should be expecting it soon.

For me, Christmas, and for that matter, Thanksgiving are closely tied to the spirit of sharing, giving and caring. The Empty Bowls most of us know is all about sharing. Many fine folks share their favorirte soups, stews and chilis. They labor in their kitchens, haul their crockpots to campus hoping and praying that their lovingly prepared loaded potatoe soup doen't slosh out of the crockpot and on to the floor of their car. Others give hours setting up tables & chairs, the soup buffet line, and all that goes in to preparing for the Big Day. The students that help make bowls, glaze the bowls, transport the bowls to the event. University Relations folks that help with press releases, radio spots. The poor custodian in Fine Arts who has to clean the ceramics studio. Betty Baker and the We Care team - the countless hours they spend each week giving to those in need.

Raise your hand if you really need more soup bowls in yur kitchen cabinet. Ok, yes, mine was raised - there is always room for another bowl or two or six. Most of the time I get to be the first person to see the freshly fired bowls as they come out of the kiln. When there is a particularly "beautiful" (what ever that means) bowl I have been known to set it aside to be one of the 6 or more bowls I make our donation for. Sorry but I claim that as a perk for being the guy who fires the kiln.

But back to bowls. some of you have maybe never seen a bowl made on the potter's wheel. Here is a short video of me throwing a bowl, roughly bowl #475. Put this video on a loop and watch it 1200 times. You will get a sense of what I see in my sleep this time of year.

Just like Christmas, there is magic in the making of bowls. How does that wet sloppy mud stay in place? How is it moved and shaped - magic. With each bowl I am thinking about you. What shape of bowl would you like, what color, what size? I am also wondering what you will put in the bowl, how you like to use them. Many potters are also foodies. We make pots, and buy pots because we like food and like to present it, experience it in interesting ways. More about that in another post.

Donna and I have lived and worked in Martin for 28 years. We have also lived and worked in downeast Maine for 40 years. We have a home, pottery studio, the beginnings of a good weaving studio and a gallery there. A few years ago, maybe ten, I heard a song on the radio in Maine when we were there for christmas. The Maine Christmas Song is christmas in Maine. The lyrics, in so many ways, also epitomize Martin Empty Bowls. I invite you to listen to that song now.

And as always, thank you for supporting Martin Empty Bowls. Continue to be safe and stay healthy!

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