Yesterday, I broke another piece of ceramics. I have been on a bit of a rough streak these past few months. Casualties include but are not limited to a Russell Wrankle, Jen Allen, and now an Andy Shaw. Below is the letter I wrote to Andy expressing my deep sadness in the loss of my plate but also my realization of the importance of handmade ceramics.
I came across a piece by Yoko Ono this morning, a glass bottle inscribed it said 'Not to be appreciated until its broken'.
Last night I broke a plate. I was devastated I left it on the kitchen table and walked upstairs. I heard a loud crash and I fumbled downstairs as fast as I could. I did not need to go downstairs to know what happened. I knew the plate was broken. The cat had jumped on the table and somehow pushed your plate off the edge.
Forrest gave me that plate as a gift during our first semester apart. It was a prized possession for many reasons one being that it was a gift and a very thoughtful gift he knows I much prefer little plates and picked out a perfect sized lunch plate. The other being that it was handmade, I could feel the love and craft that was put into the piece. I used it everyday. I used it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I was home of course- not as often as I would like! I knew in the back of my mind that the plate was special but I never really thought too much of it. I would wash it after each meal so that it was clean and ready for the next. I never put it back in the cupboard it was always migrating from my hands to the sink to the dish rack and back again.
Maybe like Yoko Ono's piece suggests I can't fully appreciate it until it's broken. I wish that was not true. I wish I could have my plate back, but the experience is making me think about the value I have on these handmade objects that have made their way into my home and life.
As a maker of functional objects, I can only hope that my pieces can make the impact that yours made on me.
Thank you for making.