“You make me sad and you make me glad; and now I see that my secret is this love, this love, this love. My secret is this love.” – Orchestral Manouevers in the Dark

It’s good to have a secret. Not like an ‘I embezzled fourteen million dollars from the IMF’ kind of secret; more like ‘I have this morning’s writing practice in my pocket, and it’s a good one’; or ‘today’s my birthday and nobody here knows it’; or even something as simple as ‘a TS song running on a loop in your head, complete with images from the video and big emotional swoons during the bridge’.

For about a year, my secret has been this one pot, deliberately set high on the Save Shelf — a smallish porcelain vase, but the biggest and riskiest form that I committed this perforated walls idea to in the last cycle. It came out of the kiln, dare I say, pretty much jaw- dropping amazing.

(Aside from my family, I’ve really only shown it to one other person: Witt, when he was here in the flesh. To corroborate; to see if he saw what I thought I was seeing. Short version: he did. (I don’t think he’ll mind my quoting him here: “You really need to pursue this.”))

The form was good, the pattern of holes very well done at leatherhard, but the kicker was my Green 2 Black glaze, and the way it ran and flowed past that pattern, like pichinko pegs or smoothed stones in a rolling creek, changing color and matteness and texture along with that fluidity, so that the surface and color and form all merged into almost the same thing, with no boundaries or interface in between them. Combined with that fairly hypnotic sense of seeing the pot’s form while also seeing all the way through it in some places, halfway inside before you gaze gets blocked in others… well. Let’s just say it’s not often that I’m still almost as smitten with a new thing like this a year after it’s cooled to room temperature as I was the day it came out of the kiln.

So the last week or two, after I settled into the porcelain switch, I’ve been driving towards that pot again. It was the apex of the last cycle; so it takes a while to roll my rock back up to the peak — even in terms of just raw technique, let along wrapping my head around it conceptually.

Kind of an intriguing new combo.

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So that’s what these photos of vases with their insides showing are all about. The conceit is that a vase really only needs to be about half full of water to be functional, so why not riff on the rest of the form? The top half can basically be anything, including breaking the cardinal rule of containment: no holes in the walls, except for very prescribed situations, like the strainer of a teapot, seep holes of a planter, or vents in a silverware strainer. (Berry bowl and collander would also count, but I’ve never actually made a single one of either, so that’s still theoretical for me at this point.)

Thinking about extending it to planters, their rims, above the dirt line? To random oval jar things, like my all time favorite Stuff Holder form? To garlic jars or napkin trays or trivets? Even to like a tall, deep version of a cereal or soup bowl? Maybe that’s too far. We’ll see.

Anyways, it’s good to have a secret. Thanks for taking that one off my hands. Now I get to go find another one.

“This is all… whoa oh.”