Paulus Berensohn died yesterday. I have been thinking a lot about my own path, cleaning the studio and gallery, seeing cycles of work, habits of thought and the cycle of seasons. I took some time to flip back through his book Finding One's Way with Clay. It reminds me that when I first read it I thought I had to make a choice in what to study, whether it was dance, painting or pottery. Paulus' book and his life experience gave me an inkling that it was possible to let each discipline inform the next. A kinetic understanding of the material thinking involved in making pottery (the dance) is combined with the visual expression of an image (the painting) which in turn is informed by the potter's intimacy with clay. This three part mix is enriching, each vantage point contributing to a dynamic interaction.
"There was no plan. What felt like stumbling as I lived it now appears to
have its own logic, its own thread. Dancing took me to an appreciation
for the movement of throwing clay. The exposure to clay's life story and
it's energy slowed me to the intimacy of pinching, to no selling or
exhibiting my work by giving it away or tithing it back to the earth"
--from an oral history interview by Mark Shapiro with Paulus Berensohn, March 20-21, 2009