Can I get you a drink?
More importantly, can I get you a drink in a handmade cup?
Because let me tell you, eating and drinking from handmade pottery is a revelation. It's a fundamentally different experience than the same thing using mass-produced tableware.
clay is magic
A handmade mug or plate or bowl adds a subtle but tangible enhancement to whatever you're consuming, creating unanticipated depth and satisfaction. It must be experienced to fully understand - don't expect to be struck by lightning; the effect is a subliminal expansion of your experience. You'll notice it over time, and most directly when it’s missing.
Before I became a potter, I was completely unaware of this.
Ok, so of course I knew that fancy tableware can enhance a meal, but this goes far beyond the difference between plain and fancy. There is a subconscious, transformational aspect infused in a handmade mug that will make the sips you take over the course of a life not fancier, but truly better.
I can't explain this phenomenon by any single thing, but here are a few factors:
Obviously the one-of-a-kind nature of the piece matters. Even the most precise potters have delightful little variations in their work. (I mostly eat off of seconds, things that are functional but not quite right. The quirks are lovable.)
This next one is out there, but I partially attribute this effect to the transference of attention. As our social media companies have so carefully taught us, attention is the most valuable thing we have. At some point in the process, a potter gives their undivided focus to every object they make. Why wouldn’t some of that intensity of focus and attention live within the pot?
And of course there's the personal connection, getting to know an artist, how they think, what they strive for, understanding them through their work.
Whatever the alchemy, the experience of eating from handmade pottery is absolutely lovely and I want it for you, too.
So go find a local potter.
Buy yourself a mug, pour yourself a drink and bask in the wonder.
It'll change your life.
v1. January 31, 2022. I reserve the right to edit or revise this at will. Tricky things, manifestos.