Remembering the Empty Coolamons

What! Did the Hand then of the Potter shake?
Omar Khayyam.1

When coming to any form of creative expression, two questions arise for me in context of the function: Who is it for? What is it for? So, who is this article for?

Is it the community of ceramicists gathered together from around the world at Clay Gulgong 2018? Maybe it has relevance to the wider world of those initiates who frequent the mysterious world only potters know? But maybe that’s all. Furthermore, what is this article for? What point does the writing of this article serve? What insights of value can my reflections offer, as someone who shares the inner-life of a ceramicist but does not consider themselves anything like an authority in the field of ceramics?

This is despite forty years of working with all stages of ceramics, from making, to glazing, to firing, and exhibiting; to being taught by some wonderful teachers such as the late Mike Kusnik, from whom I learnt ceramics chemistry for six years during my diploma and undergraduate degree; to Petrus Spronk from whom I learnt the need for honesty and authenticity in one’s approach to art practice; through to Dr Julian Goddard’s inspiration to further pursue the delights hidden within the history of art, at the same time acknowledging nothing traces the history of mankind as thoroughly as Clay. I still find myself serving an apprenticeship to Her Royal Highness, Clay.
Note: this article needs to be read in context of viewing the three short documentaries referred to in the article.

So, now onto what ceramics has taught me: