Anne Mette Hjortshøj – Paying Honest Attention

Another great short film from Goldmark Gallery! Well Done. Anne Mette Hjortshøj – Paying Honest Attention is so inspiring.  These films all have such a great vibe about them.  I watch them over and over and then go make pots.  They calm me down and lift me up all at the same time.  They give me something to aim for and affirm that I am on the right path.  I feel an earthy connection to the potters featured in these intimate glimpses.  I want to be this kind of potter making pots fired in a wood kiln, living this kind of life in the country, growing organic food, working outside in open space collecting materials locally to use in or on my pots, living a life inspired.

I love the look of Anne Mette’s pots. The fluid nature of the clay in the lugs for the handles of her teapots, for example, look as if the clay is still soft and the handle has lifted it up in the center. The colors and patterns are fantastic.  I like how she makes and uses stamps for adding patterns of texture for the glaze to run over or collect in or break over and edge.  After seeing her beautiful pots and then watching the video it came as no surprise to me that she fires with wood.  Most of my favorite potters fire with wood.  There is nothing better in my opinion than a wood fired pot.  There is so much going on with color and surface from the flames and ash and salt.  You can look at a wood fired pot a hundred times and see something new each time.

I love the way Anne Mette talks about making pots and the process of learning with Phil Rogers. It’s very clear she holds him in the highest regard.  He is one of my favorite potters and an opportunity to learn and work with him would be a dream come true.  I really enjoyed reading his book called Throwing Pots back when I started my clay journey.

So check out the film and the links and let me know what you feel.

I’ve added Goodreads on the bottom right so I can share what books I have read or want to read.  If you have read some great pottery books please recommend them to me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

C#

Surfing

I want to surf again.  I want to get new contact lenses so I can see the waves coming.  I want to heal my back and shoulders so I can paddle out and have fun in the waves with my boy and teach him to surf.  I want to noseride, hang 5, cross step, drop knee turn, and do long sweeping bottom turns on chest to head high waves.  I want to make videos with a GoPro  mounted to my board.  Mostly I want to heal and enjoy the moments in the water and sunshine and have some fun.

I really need to get back in the ocean for my own sanity and the well being of my soul.  When I’m out there the mental chatter stops, the stress melts away, the moment expands and the rise and fall of each swell brings with it endless possibilities.  Simply floating on my board soaking in all the energy and beauty of the ocean is so relaxing and rejuvenating.  Catching waves is another level entirely.  To position myself in the peak spot, to turn around and paddle early and hard enough to match the speed of the wave, then to pop to my feet just before it breaks hoping my feet land in the right place on my board, off I go, zooming down the face harnessing the momentum into a long sweeping bottom turn, carrying all that force right up the wall of water as I take two quick steps closer to the nose, settling down the back of the board is covered with water, the rail is locked and I am cruising down the line.  Going so fast I outrun the wave, I take two steps back and dig my toe in as I drop my knee for a big cutback to get back in position.  I smack off the white water and head for the nose again this time with four little steps placing my front foot out for a cheater five.  Bliss! Thrill! Surfing!  Wipeout!  Hoot and holler I paddle back out smiling as big as my face will allow.  Yeah, I need to get back in the water.

So how does this relate to pottery making?  For me pottery making is a healing journey.  Physically, mentally, emotionally it has helped me feel whole again and soothed some of my injuries.  It’s taught me patience, forgiveness, and allowed me to begin again and again.  I learn how to be centered and present so I can center clay on the wheel.  It has taught me to let go of what just happened or what is coming up and to be focused in the moment.  If I rush it or push too hard the pot does not make it.  I need to be sensitive to the clay and what is happening under my fingers in such a nuanced and subtle way.  Every slight pressure or pinch causes a reaction in the clay.  Long board surfing is similar in that every slight lean or foot pressure or adjustment in balance can take you further down the wave or send you flying off your board.  Both activities invite me to be whole and aware.  In one I make or lose a pot, in the other I make or lose the wave.  Both journeys are beautiful and humbling.  Both journeys require focus and being centered, both allow another chance to begin again being open to learning from this moment.

There is always another wave and there is always another pot.

C#