The modern world values efficiency and speed. An array of gadgets and technologies facilitate quick and easy interactions and exchanges. And while sometimes quick and easy is just the thing I’m looking for, it is not always what I need.
Pottery is one of the very oldest technologies. There is a certain efficiency in turning clay to a purpose, but clay is resistant to modern speeds and rhythms. My life in the pottery studio is quiet and measured, unhurried, and dictated by the rhythm of the clay.
The contrast between the world within the studio and the world without is sometimes disorienting. Handmade pottery, which is neither quick nor easy and never the most convenient choice, feels like a relic of a bygone age – a horse draw carriage on a super highway.
So why bother? Because speed and efficiency can rob you of your moments. Because we are not our gadgets, we need to breathe deep, and we need to pause.
The quiet steady rhythm of the clay and the studio are contained within each piece. In their use, they bring quiet and considered moments outside the studio. Cups and bowls can be ordinary objects, used without thought, taking no space, demanding no pause. But a certain form of a handle, a texture on a rim, or a combination of colors, can elicit a pause, allow you to draw a breath, and give you back your moment.
Using handmade pottery in the modern world is both special and ordinary. I want the users of my work to be keenly aware of the experience of using a functional object, to explore the work through its use, and to consider the work through interaction. By highlighting the ordinary and the extraordinariness of handmade pottery, I hope to invite the user to pause and take a deep breath, to consider and reconsider the work, and in doing so, experience a moment of awareness.
-- Grace Sheese