In case you are wondering, the title of this blog does NOT reflect the new name for the “Empty Bowls” event. You will understand shortly.
The past two weeks of class have been filled with the creation of cups, and with this comes the creation of handles. We started last week making cups, and ended this week doing the same. With the shift in vessel from bowl to cup, it is crucial that we get started on making these cups if we want to hit to our target number. We have adjusted back to throwing after a long summer break, and the muscle memory is returning, resulting in two beautiful batches of cups.
Something that is still in the “adjusting process” however, has been the creation of handles. Imagine- a dimly lit room, five innocent souls, the constant, heavy bombardment of mixtures of water and dirt, the joints and ligaments of fingers and hands cramping up giving way to the loud, excruciating screams of agony… you have placed yourself into a typical class of ours dedicated to handle making. Handles are very delicate things to make, and if you are new to them, like most of us are, it can be difficult and frustrating. However, we have owned up to the task, and this is visible throughout the new batch of handles we made this week. We have shown growth in our abilities, and have identified the necessary technical elements to good handles, such as thicker tops to support the weight of the cup and liquid inside it.
Aside from the early physical preparations, the need for an event name is still up in the air. The most popular names we have discussed so far are “Cups and Cakes,” “Cups For Caritas,” and “Cups For A Cause.” Ms. Plows stayed late in the studio one night earlier this week, and I emailed her two more ideas for names, “A Cup Full Of Care” and “A Cup Of Care.” Ms. Plows responded immediately with a sarcastic suggestion, “How A Handmade Carebear Can Save The World.” This wonderful name is derived from an article, written by Chris Staley, that all of her ceramics students read, “How A Handmade Cup Can Save The World.”
This new name of hers gave us both a laugh, but I was concerned that the name, as funny as it was, had the chance to be forgotten. In a sense, we are Care Bears, trying to work together for the greater good. We may not be saving the world, but we are trying to make a difference in our local community. We are all cubs, working as a pack to accomplish this goal of ours that has been a tradition for years.