the outer surroundings of the true self…

Stella McCartney designing for dancers, these stripes tickle my fancy

What we wear, when we wear it, how we choose and know what’s just the right shirt, pants, socks…these ideas are sometimes so second nature, and other times labored over for hours, weeks.  The above stripes would be my outfit of choice for every day, if I owned it, so perhaps I’m lucky that I don’t.

Alexander McQueen's Jack the Ripper barbed wire coat, with his own hair woven into the lining

Now, Alexander’s Jacket would be for going out, but regular. I sometimes think that barbed wire gets a bad rep, spikey and all, but how lovely of a pattern it makes, meandering verticals.  This whole piece feels perfect.

“I never liked the middle ground–the most boring place in the world.” -Louise Nevelson

So when I wake up in the morning, I call on my inner Louise, who did not feel right unless she had on her multiple sets of eyelashes.  What is my costume for the day?  Where can I push myself to express with this vessel that is my body?  How does this translate to the vessels that I make in my studio?  And just in case I get overly intense about it, Humans of New York bring me back down to this reality, this world we live in, where some days, I wrap a blanket around my head, layer up, and go about my business.  We’re all quirky…and we’re all ok.

Humans of New York, Unite!

Monday morning ice and tea

Advice to sink in slowly, on this icy, rainy, winter day.  Slow down; drink tea.  Make it in a teapot.  Take a moment, while drinking tea, to look at the teapot look at your cup.  Really look. Are you looking? Consider what you see.  Consider the memories you already have of these things, and the memories you are making right now.  Enjoy.

Advice to Sink in Slowly: Designers Share Wisdom with First-Year Students in Poster Series

Pay attention…

Sam Taylor, of Dog Bar Pottery, teapot

“Slow down, drink coffee from a handmade mug. Slow down when making the mug. Pay attention to the earthly processes that are involved and the full nature of what a mug has been and could be. Once again, it will be good for you and good for the planet. Buy from your local potter. Even if the handmade object is not utilitarian, it is a slow object. It still requires a stilling in the making and in the enjoying. Slow down; take it in on a sensual level. Add to that basic appeal whatever experience you have had with similar objects, be it resonance or the surprise of unexpected elements. Buy from a local artist. Attend your local gallery exhibitions. Clay sculptures, installations, conceptual works: they all ask us to slow down and pay attention, to examine our preconceptions.”

-Clary Illian

Chris Weaver, teapot with wooden handle

There’s nothing slower than a teapot on a chilly winter day.  Teapots have been on my mind this month, what with winter and wood stoves and contemplation.  These are some of my current mullings, and may they inspire you to pull out your favorite, boil up some hot water, and sip away…

Linda Sikora, teapot