I had a chance to reconnect with a longtime friend this past week. Our conversation picked right up where we left off. And when I walked into her new home for the first time, it was heartening to see a colander I’d made back in 1993 sitting on her kitchen counter. We may not have talked in awhile, but our connection through that piece of pottery was there – part of her daily life.
Clay has been a continual matchmaker for me throughout my life. I have made new friends through ceramic classes and workshops. I’ve met tons of like-minded clay enthusiasts who share my passion for a tactile, messy medium, exploration of vessel shape and curiosity about color. It’s a lasting bond.
My clay art has also helped sustain the long distance relationships I have with friends from several moves. We may not talk on a regular basis, but I know that each time one of my pieces is viewed or used, it evokes a strong memory of a closeness we shared when we were together. It helps keep us connected.
I’ve gifted my pottery to friends since I began making it. Once I began selling it, my friends have been there to support my business too. They have purchased items for themselves and also bought gifts for others. And now that sales of my pottery occur in galleries or through the internet without my physical presence, clay has become my ‘ambassador’ paving the way toward the start of a new relationship through my art.
I value friendship and like the idea that my clay art continues to reinforce the bonds and connections I have with people even when I’m not around. The song lyrics about this mutual affection written by Carole King in 1971 ring true and have always held special meaning to me: