I have been making little lidded boxes in the studio lately. I’ve always had this thing for small ceramic work that’s useful. I think it began when I was a kid. My parents really had no taste in home decor… for the most part everything was child proof, indestructible furniture for the living space, and Corelle Ware for the table. The only two interesting items that caught my daily attention were two pieces of handmade pottery… a cream and sugar set. These two pieces were kept on this tiny little wall shelf high up in the living room, away from any damage that any one of us six kids would cause… but I managed to take one or the other off the shelf every now and then, just to sit on the nearby couch and fondle the smooth surface in my hands… and stare at the drippy mottled tan glaze and the toasty orange edges of the stoneware clay. I looked at those pieces in wonder… and at the same time I wondered why we never used them, and why nothing else in the house looked like these beautiful pieces of pottery. I don’t know what happened to that cream and sugar set since my parents died, but what I do know is that the image of them is etched so clearly in my mind.
So here I am now, working in stoneware clay, (after 17 years of working in porcelain). I am looking for those toasty orange edges, and satiny, smooth, mottled glazes from my childhood memory, and hoping to make pottery that just calls to you to be held. I am finding some answers in these little lidded boxes. Something so small, so intimate, yet so useful. They are small enough to be held in one hand, with a simplicity of form that stands strong on its own wherever it sits. There are so many uses for these containers, that I don’t really have a name for them… lidded box, covered container, treasure jar, keepsake box, salt cellar, jewelry box, keepsake urn, whatever jar. I really think it is up to the user to find a name after they have found it’s special use.
Below are a few photos of the of finished containers and of the process, (these containers are made on the potters wheel in one piece, then cut, to form the lid and the body). These will be available on my shop page soon!