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Pottery and Other Related Thoughts
  • A Potter's Life: What we learned in China: Part One
  • Diane McNeil and John Dietrich
  • china tripdiane mcneilellison bay potteryjindezhenjohn dietrichone of a kind bowl
A Potter's Life: What we learned in China: Part One
There is good and bad food in China, just like here. The good food was very very good--like street food. Mmm. The bad was just UGH!
I should have brought more warm clothes. It was gray and gloomy for most of the trip.This didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves and doing what we wanted, of course.
Chinese pottery is mostly traditional pottery. Students learn from masters to follow what has been done before and to never vary. Students chafed at this. This made for interesting conversations.
Traveling with people we hardly know was easier than I thought. Probably because we were organized by the itinerary not created by us. There is a freedom in not having a say in what we do, where we go and when. I have to say we were always running late!
Two weeks, with three days in each place, is not enough time. We knew this going over and our bodies did get tired of moving all the time. It was grand fun, though.
Symbolism and metaphors are everywhere. Everything means something. History is alive in China.
A nice student at the Art Fair in Jingdezhen, China
gave us a short tour of the best ceramics by contemporary potters while she practiced her English. And then she offered to take our photo.
Absorbing everything we saw, everything we ate, everywhere we went, everyone we spoke to takes up a lot of time. We get to tell our story and each time we learn something or remember something. It's going to take all winter to actually process it all. But the most important lesson so far is that we are indeed a part of an old and honorable tradition--the clay tradition. We have a responsibility to the potters before us and to those who follow us.
  • Diane McNeil and John Dietrich
  • china tripdiane mcneilellison bay potteryjindezhenjohn dietrichone of a kind bowl

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