LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Decorative Only

I’m sort of an accidental collector. Sometimes I find myself drawn to certain things and before I know it, I have a little stack, pile, or cache of them. Recently I realized that I have been collecting small blue handmade pots or bowls. The arts center a few miles from our house holds a pottery sale every spring and fall when they sell bowls of every shape. The small ones are just $8. I now have three on my desk and one on my bookshelf.

The bowls I especially like have a Raku finish. My knowledge of Raku is limited but it has something to do with a quick firing and finishing technique that produces a metallic glaze. That’s what I like about it: the metallic part. My bowls have blues, purples, and reds in them that are muted by a bronze/copper glaze.

Because Raku is porous, these bowls can’t hold food or water. Their function is decorative only. And that’s all right with me.

Beauty often doesn’t have a tangible, practical purpose—at least nothing that can be quantified and measured. But we live in a world that values hurry up, move along, get it done, and check it off. We need beauty to bring color, grace, warmth, and balance to our lives. We need beauty to help us slow down. My little collection of $8 bowls helps do that for me.

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