“It is good to be a potter. At work, the potter manages the transformation of nature, building culture while fulfilling the self, serving society, and patching the world together with pieces of clay that connect the past with the present, the useful with the beautiful, the material with the spiritual.”
So writes Henry Glassie, author of “The Potter’s Art” (1999, Material Culture of Philadelphia/Indiana University Press). This good read takes us into the studios of master potters in the United States, Sweden, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Japan, illustrating the common experiences that link them.
To see the transformation of nature Glassie references, you might like to watch Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut, in which John Plant makes and fires tiles in the Australian bush using only primitive tools and materials. Or watch a bit of Javad Mahrbannia’s video, which shows in great detail an elderly Iranian woman’s creation of functional vessels.using traditional techniques. Meanwhile Matthew Weir and Jerry Duller’s A Bizarre and Noble Craft documents how two brothers carry on their father’s craft in Andalusia, holding on to their tried and true methods but adapting their store to modern times.