I made the statement “pottery has nothing to do with food these days” then reallllly had to think about it.
Maybe pottery has nothing to do with food?
Small scale studio pottery today has very little to do with food. That is little to do with it other than the convention of form, that is a plate is a plate, a mug is a mug. Humans, ingenious and expressive since the beginning of archeological shard findings some (xxxxx) years ago have been taking that form (that that follow function) and decorating it in endless ways, by endless means for endless reasons. Today any food a action a vessel will see is domestic, small scale and private, disseminated by the owner of the vessel.
A pot does not get experienced (I mean in its full serving state) by many people in it’s life- by dinner guests alone or perhaps by subsequent owners should it outlive its original one. In a passive state the pot may be observed by a few more in a home. A pot therefore is personal, is secret. This, all of this is great. All of this is also problematic.
For mass visual consumption we have photos, catalogs, galleries and museums. All that widen the void between pot and food. It is for perhaps in this context that I state hand crafted pottery these days has very little to do with food.
For food we have large scale homogenized production.
I don’t intend to singularly re-vamp our industrial food system with a mug.
Does quality making translate to quality experience? No.
Where does that leave me the potter? I want to examine the way we currently interact with pottery and the venues where that pottery then gets to interact with food. Maybe it is about changing the venues and way we interact with pots, not changing the pots themselves. This has been a problem for me. What a pot must do-be-look like- to address our food systems and culture. I have no solution and it may be that the solution is not in form and function. The solution may be in our culture in how handcrafted pottery is used and thought about. This it seems is what I should investigate.
Maybe pottery has nothing to do with food, but I still need to make pots!
Thus, a new clay body and colors are on the table to be tested and I have to begin to think what a pot should be, continue to be. What physical form should I make. What of eating?- That is what this is about. I ironically do not own any dishes here in Florida, having showed up with just a suitcase, and between me and my roommate we only have one spoon! And we own no chairs- but we do gave a 12person dinning room table. This table to someday be filled with food. Sharing food is key. Sharing food culture, good times and good tasting food is what sparks interest in food- for the more nitty gritty topics: health, industry, sustainability.
I wonder about specificity of form and function there is a beauty in specificity- specific knowledge or use, we value that. Such a characteristic may cause extinction too- the wash basin or silver sardine opener for example. Can we consciously make objects that only serve on purpose today- in a world reaching charging capacity with over flowing landfills? At the same time, is all things are multipurpose, if everything is streamlined (ex. the to-go coffee cup)how are things special how can they be valued? This is what I consider when contemplating form.
Food Culture: The Farmers Market
I managed to scout out the farmers market and see what food Florida offers and people watched. It is a small venue but bustling. Florida avocados $0.50 each!
I also have begun to compile a list of food/garden organizations and call them up to chat: