I occasionally hear from customers because they've had a little pottery mishap. While I'm proud to say Kaleidoscope pots hold up about as well as any, there are times when a piece meets up with something even sturdier. The result is breakage. The means of demise can range but those of us who love pottery know the feeling.
My most recent personal experience with this came a few days ago when I dropped a bowl my husband made. It wasn't really just that. It was the only bowl my husband ever made. It was the bowl he made shortly after we met just 27 years ago. The bowl he made in my very first personal (not part of a school or group) studio on a kickwheel long gone now...a bowl I have taken for granted for many years now.
I live with a lot of pots from different potters. I use them all and rarely break them. January, 2015, however, was a bad month for my pottery collection. I broke a beautiful Sam Taylor bowl the week before I broke Kevin's.
After I recover from the initial shock of breaking a piece I look at it with my potters eye. How even are the walls? How did the potter's fingers shape the various parts? What can I learn from this pot now that I can see the inside walls? If it's a clean break the piece will go in my yard against a wall where I'll see it pretty frequently when I'm carrying in the groceries or going to get the mail. I like to find a use for a pot even after it's no longer possible to use it in the kitchen. I always suggest this to customers who have had a mini tragedy with a Kaleidoscope pot.
My husband and I (and my son is learning this) have an agreement. When a pot is broken the person who did NOT break the pot has to look the person who DID break the pot in the eye and say, "I love you more than I love that pot." It can take a little while. Sometimes there is a needed mourning period, but in order to live with (and use) pottery we must accept that sometimes they will break. And in order to keep our long term relationships we must sometimes swallow one love for the sake of another.
I am now looking forward to two things. First, a shopping trip to Sam Taylor's Dog Bar Pottery (he lives one town away in Westhampton, MA), and second, a reason to get my husband back into the studio to make another bowl. Enough time has passed that I am able to look at it this way. I'm also happy to say the Sam Taylor break was a clean one so it will grace my outside wall of fame (as soon as the snow melts enough to decide where to put it).
Evelyn Snyder, Potter