TITLE: Buying a Beautiful Bowl
DATE: 2/02/2006 02:30:00 PM
I fell in love today.
At first, I walked into the gallery and saw two crystalline glazed bowls on the right that caught my eye. They were exquisite. Pretty little feet. A delicious little lip that extended in, then out. And two small dimples on the underside of each of the bowls. It looked as if the maker had taken them off the potters wheel with a thumb and forefinger, pressing in just slightly.
As I walked around I couldn’t get the bowls off my mind!
And then, approaching the entrance of the gallery from the opposite side – there it was. This was my bowl. And it was lovely, with a slight brownish blush along the rim and four squatty feet carved out underneath. Inside was a brown dab of glaze. The entire bowl was a hazy crystalline blue-green. Beautiful.
After sitting several pieces side by side and standing back, it was clear. This was my bowl. The others were nice, but not mine. And, as true love should work, I accepted her imperfections. Ok, so she’s not exactly in center. I affectionately refer to her as “wobbly”. And, yes, yes, so she wasn’t pulled particularly evenly on the wheel. She’s inconsistent and I can deal with that. Personally, I’m inconsistently inconsistent. So, we’re a nice pairing.
With love in my eyes, I happily watched them wrap my piece and place it in a bag. After getting it home I unwrapped it with immediacy, as if it had changed or as if I was testing this new lighting scenario from the one where I bought it. It was great.
My one little problem though, I don’t know who made it. I know she is a living potter in Florida with a Russian last name. That’s all I know.
My new love has no name carved in her. She has no card with the artist’s information. There is no flyer or postcard with more about the potter. I know nothing other than that I like the bowl and that she is mine.
To artists, the buying experience is perhaps not as important as the making experience. But to me, today, as a buyer... the uneveness in this approach truly made the difference... the subtle but crucial difference betweeen privately coveting my new bowl, or being given the opportunity to openly brag about the artist who made it every time I invite a friend over for dinner.