I Appreciate the Thought

Steven G. Cheek pottery
I can remember the first time that I held a cup to my lips that had been hand carved and hand thrown and I actually knew the artist.  The heat of the porcelain against my mouth, the tactile experience of holding it in my hand, the internal conversation that was started with the artist through the vessel, the attention to the detail of the carving.   It was all a very sensory experience.  One that was very satisfying at a level I wasn't fully aware of at the time.

I can't remember the first time I saw an extraordinary table, but I can remember hundreds of them since then.

Breath taking, jaw dropping, gorgeous experiences that I can't help but stare to try and take them all in.  The attention to the color and fabric of the linens, the sparkle and design of the stemware, the amount of flatware at each place setting, whether or not we were having multiple courses by the number of glasses, the small details of salt and pepper shakers shining like jewels on a model, the accent pieces and flower arrangements all pointing the way for the evening.  Again an unspoken conversation began about what the event would hold.

Photo courtesy of Modamee.com
Fashion has made my heart beat faster for as long as I can remember.  The drape, cut and feel of a fabric produces a ripple of something in me that speaks to a place of beauty that not many things can.  When detail is added like the loveliness on the right coupled with the cut of the sleeve, the neckline, the tailoring of the buttons, it truly becomes art.

The through line to all of this rambling is that I find the dialogue that begins as a result of these details fascinating and intriguing. They are indeed the entirety of the design. They begin a conversation with those experiencing it that informs others about themselves with something more than words. It tells them about what they value, what they experience, what has influenced their own work.

Heart stopping Birthday Cake by The Sugar Woods, LaGrange, KY
My appreciation for those that take the time to give their work attention and detail has grown over the years. Especially as I begin to take more pride in my own work and the details that are building my designs, whether those are on a table, the comfort of my guests from event beginning to end, or in the architecture of a pool and the function of a space.

Matt Long Flask
This past weekend Louisville Clay Club and the University of Louisville brought a fantastic potter here to give a workshop and slide show.  Matt Long came and spoke about his work, Full Victory Pottery and his experience as an educator at Ole Miss.  Beyond his stunning and lush work (I can't WAIT to use that flask!), what struck me the most was not just the personal values that were incorporated in his work, but the thought and reflection that had gone into those values.  His priorities of history and relationships make the function of his pots more important than if they were just something he did as a job.  I have seen and talked with more artists than I care to recount that have no idea how they arrived at the choices they made about their work.  To hear the thought that was put into to Matt's work, to watch how his process has evolved over time has made using his work much more intimate.  We now have a different dialogue than we did before.  

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to those of you that take the time to put you into your work, whatever your work is.  Integrity is integrity whether that is art work or economics.  The thought, research, trial and error, creativity, and heart are truly appreciated.  It points the way and influences different life choices.  Choices that become more about quality and less about quantity, more about connection and less about isolation, more about forging relationships and dialogue and less about serving a bank account.  That's important stuff in my book.

The coming weeks bring more garden work, some home improvement projects (outside this time- no need to get the straight jacket ready just yet), and planting.  The weather has FINALLY broken here in the 'ville and we are basking in glorious sunshine and 70 degree weather.  The porch is officially open for cocktails and conversations.   Stop by if you have a minute and let's talk about what's your next move with your work.  I am sure I can find a good bourbon here somewhere. 

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  1. Yes! As Marilyn Monroe said in the film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "I adore conversation, don't you?" I think the reason I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED being with you and the UE gang over Xmas is that we all spoke the same language of minutiae that is invigorating to artists. Thanks for putting into words the "stuff of life!"