Fanning the Flames
What Would You Say to Dinner?
Hello again!
I follow a lot of diverse artists on Instagram. Not only to support them and their amazing efforts, but to also be inspired and see all the different kinds of beauty people create. it seems like lately, I've had an influx of videos from the potters/ceramic artists throwing on the wheel. I love watching that. I've tried it, it's definitely my niche, but there's just something so incredibly basic and organic to someone doing something that's pretty much been a human function since the Bronze Age. (If you include non-wheel pottery.)
We have always made things to eat off of and drink from. From banana leaves to wooden trenchers, from paper plates to Wedgewood or Mikasa china, it serves a function and is a form for artistic expression. If you take a painting class, chances are you'll do a still life of fruit in a bowl. Dishes bear our nutrients to us. Dishes can indicate our social status. We use them, re-use them, clean them. You can even make art from them when they're broken! I personally have a very eclectic set of dishes because I can't choose just one pretty pattern. There aren't any rules, so I collect whatever strikes my fancy. I set a very interesting and colorful table. One of my bowls is a large noodle bowl I purchased at an Asian grocery store in Seattle. It has the cutest whimsical cat painted on it. It makes me smile every time I use it.
Take a look at your dishes. A close look. What are they made of? Why did you choose the ones you did? What is the design? Feel their weight in your hands. Do you have a favorite mug? One of the first non-necessities I bought when I moved was a gorgeous large mug from a local artist. it feels perfect in my hands and holds a large amount of tea. The colors are soothing to me, the texture is uniquely rough and glazed, and it symbolizes my new home. I even found out the artist doesn't live all that far from me! (She's such a nice lady!)  How can you find a dish that you really connect with? How can you put dishes into your creative efforts?
How can you find beauty in the ordinary?
Bonus Suggestion: For inspiration, go to a thrift store. The bigger, the better, as long as they have a section of dishes. Look at the various items. They're usually quite a wide range of quality, and some are even tourist or commemorative pieces. Think about the fact that at one point, that dish was new and meant something to someone. Who bought that commemorative plate from Niagara Falls? Why did they choose that particular shade of blue of that margarita glass? What kind of person thought that cheap toilet-shaped novelty mug would be funny to give to someone? What would inspire a purchase of a fancy teacup or a set of plain white bowls? Imagine you're that person and write a paragraph about your choice in dishes. Maybe have your favorite drink while you're at it. (I won't tell if a plate of cookies is also involved.)
(My first gorgeous local mug. Ceramics by Sarah Silva, check out her Facebook page.)

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Fanning the Flames, copyright 2019 Meghan O'Connor, all rights reserved.
first Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash
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Keynote Creativity Coaching  •  PO Box 7053  •  Albuquerque, NM 87194

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