Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the beautiful mechanics of the everyday

A few years ago when Trevor was in charge of the Christmas Pudding making he left the house to go shopping and the pudding was burned black, a sort of superstick surface on the bottom of the the saucepan. In a very bad mood I told him to go downtown and not to come back without a Christmas Pudding. Trevor slunk out of the house and swaggered back in an hour or so late - empty handed, but with an incredibly supercilious expression and announced that the puddings would be arriving this afternoon. And what do you know? That very afternoon 2 beautiful homemade Christmas Puddings appeared on our doorstep.
How did this happen? Well, in typical Trevor style he had gone down town and there was not a pudding to be found but someone said "I think little D makes puddings." So Trev went racing from cafe to cafe in search of Little D. Eventually giving up and walking down the street contemplating how to break the news to his mad wife Trevor heard a voice behind him saying "Excuse me ? Did you want a Christmas Pudding?" It was Little D and ever since in about October when we see him in the street we put our order in and around Christmas receive 2 handcrafted puddings.

The point of this long story is that there are crafts people throughout our community, making all kinds of amazing things with thought and care. These things, a perfect pudding, a wonderfully trimmed piece of meat from the butcher, homemade goats cheese, an elegant and practical solution to guttering, doors that close properly, add texture, charm and quality to our lives. As artists I feel we are part of this web of people entering homes,and affecting lives. This is a very powerful responsibility and the work of "good "crafting, creating art that works on a practical level as well as an intellectual one is central to my work as a ceramicist. I love the thought of my work in someone's home, comforting them after a long hard day, or piquing their interest as they idly sip their tea in the morning. This is my way of affecting the environment we live in. Although it's subtle, objects in the hands and the home can have a powerful, meaningful effect on the wider world.

Jennifer Causey's photographs illustrate this principle perfectly. Combining the sacred and the mundane, giving insight into the beautiful mechanics of the everyday.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully expressed, Shannon. It is always a surprise for us moderns to realise that it is humbleness that leads to the self.

a lovely story too, not long at all :D


kylie j said...

your writing is beautiful and inspiring dear shannon, old friend. thank you for reminding me about the little things that i overlook when my heart is blue.
lots of love, k xxx

bec said...

Beautiful post shannon. looking forward to growing the craft web in 2007.