3rd Excerpt from the Book of Shards

Here is another one, again it goes way back. Was published in APA newsletter and then republished in Ceramics Review. Enjoy

Excerpt from the ‘Book of Shards’

I reached into the warm water and fumbled around for it. The bowl was instantly recognizable as I grasped it and could feel the texture of its surface. I spin the bowl in the palm of one hand while my other hand swishes a wash cloth on the inside, then I run my fingers all over the bowl making sure that it is indeed clean. Warm water flows over the bowl washing away the bubbles reviling a warm pallet of color. Grasping the foot, I bring the bowl up to eye level and twirl it around examining the various aspects of it. I wish for more light for the sink faces the wall and not a window, something to make sure of when we build our house. Satisfied that the bowl is clean and that I have had my fill of what it has offered me I plunk in down in to the drying tray, a light clinking sound comes up from the bowl as it rests upon another. I again plunge my hands into the soapy water eagerly seeking out the next hidden treasure.

Needless to say washing dishes takes me a considerable amount of time to do, yet I have no desire to own a dishwasher. Indeed the only time I had one was when we went to sell the house in the city, we installed it but never even turned it on to see if it actually worked, I believe the manual was still taped to the inside when we left. Dishwashers are supposed to be time savers, and yet I don’t see washing dishes a time waster, actually I view washing dishes as meditative. The warm soothing water, the repetitive motion, and the visual and tactile sensations make it perfect place to experience a pot.

Now days more pots seem to be left upon mantles or plinths than they do on the kitchen shelves or drying racks. Even old pots in museums are handled with white gloves over a padded table, something the maker might never thought of. I think I am both consciously and subconsciously not at ease with these venues and I feel that I do not get every thing that the pot has to offer because of this. Of course a pot that gathers dust is less likely to become a shard while a pot that spends a great deal of time in the drying rack is. However I feel handling a pot in its intended environment revels to us much more into its and our existence.

I feel we can learn so much from a heap of dishes overflowing the drying tray than a single pot stuck behind a glass wall. So when a pot becomes shards when it is used in every day life, don’t be saddened, it was meant to be.


Christian D Barr

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