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Pottery Pottery
by Jan Sand
Issue 12
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To make a pot,

 

One must coerce,

 

Have commerce with

 

The mass of clay

 

In such a way

 

To gain concentricity

 

With the wheel.

 

This requires

 

An educated feel

 

For taming predilections

 

Of the stuff to wander off

 

In odd directions.

 

One wets one’s hands

 

To lubricate with slip,

 

Permit the surface liberty

 

To run through the grip

 

Which confines central bulk

 

To rise. In direction

 

Like a penis in erection.

 

Then, with the hands

 

Press down the glans

 

Into a docile cylinder,

 

Quiescent in its spin

 

To invite, at its axis,

 

The finger in,

 

Not unlike the exploration,

 

For a sexual sensation,

 

Of a woman’s navel.

 

But this pointed pressure

 

Makes the magic cavity,

 

Creates the hollow cylinder,

 

The embryo of the final pot.

 

Now, with gentle pressure,

 

Both within and without,

 

On the thinning wall,

 

With a care, devout,

 

It can rise in vertical ascent

 

And then, flared out,

 

Or bent in to a tight lip,

 

Depending on the grip,

 

In discrete surges,

 

The form emerges.

 

Here is where the enterprise

 

May fail. As the wall

 

Starts to rise the clay

 

Can become too wet, over supple,

 

Responding too easily

 

To finger pressure

 

Or gravity’s insistent call

 

And bulge, and fall.

 

But if luck and skill

 

Can be persuaded to conform

 

To the potter’s will

 

And the topology of intention

 

Balances these to perform

 

And fulfill the mind’s invention,

 

The process can produce a bowl,

 

A vase, a coffee mug,

 

Or, perhaps, a simple jug.


 
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winsum2006-10-02 10:14:19
that's pretty much the way it is in the beginning . . . .but we get better.


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