Posts Tagged ‘Jack Troy’

Good Morning Jack

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I am having home made apple cider in a cup that my friend Jack Troy gave me some years ago. It is a nice little wood fired cup from Jack’s kiln in Huntingdon, PA. I like using other people’s wares. It connects me with them and brings them into my heart and hands. I am in love with the physicality of clay, in making and in use. Looking at a pot can only do so much. It is between the hands and the mouth that the action takes place. Garth Clark wrote somewhere that with paintings and sculpture you can bring an observer into personal space but that only a cup taken into the mouth brings the art into intimate space. I enjoy this aspect of being a potter the most.
This little cup has what some would call a flaw. It appears that as Jack was trimming it he cut through the bottom of the vessel and then mended it with a bit of wet clay. You can see it if you look closely at the bottom.
On first noticing this detail I was fascinated. It reminded me of pieces I have seen in museums and in one case in the wild that demonstrate this kind of care for the vessel and the material. It is a very nice little cup with a lot of expressive movement. It would have been a shame to throw it into the scrap pile to be recycled and later thrown again. Jack saw something in it that he thought was worth saving. I am glad that he did. I have taken to doing the same with my pots. If I trim through the bottom and really like the pot I will attempt a patch. Most of the time it works. Sometimes I have to break the pot up after the firing when I see that the flaw has amplified in the firing.
This little pot has sat in the same place virtually untouched since it was placed there a thousand years ago by an unknown Indian in the Grand Canyon. A few river runners know of it’s existence and location. I was glad to see the post firing repair job done on it by drilling a hole on either side of the crack and then binding it together with a little bit of yucca fiber. The fiber twine is still sitting in the bottom of the pot.