October 24, 2015

The Timeless Art of Pottery Making: A Connection to The Past

If, like many millions of other people around the world, you continually find yourself drawn to fine pottery pieces, then you’re in good company, the fact is that pottery is an ancient craft that has always been a key characteristic of human societies. In fact, pottery can be considered the first material synthesized by man – thus marking it as one of humankind’s earliest inventions. More than that, though, it has been an art form that has fostered and served culture for thousands of years.


Your zeal for these handcrafted works is one that has been shared by billions of people throughout history. The evidence of that can be found at any archeological site, where pottery items of all kinds remain one of the most common artifacts archeologists recover in any dig. Often times, these ancient remains provide us with a large portion of what we know about those ancient societies.


Your affinity for handcrafted pottery is not merely a love for those natural products that have been made with human hands, but it’s also a connecting tether that unites you across the vastness of time with all those who came before us. There are actually few things that have that capacity for demonstrating the continuity of the species. The spoken language is a primary example, of course. So too is the construction of cities. Given its important role in most human societies over the course of history, pottery ranks among those aspects of human culture that mankind has carried with him to every corner of the globe.


Even the methods of craftsmanship used by today’s artisans would be familiar to human pottery makers who lived thousands of years ago. The kiln has been around in one form or another since those ancient times, having replaced open pit firing and other less heat-intensive techniques. Decorative art, engravings, and other techniques used by modern pottery craftsmen would also spark wry smiles from those ancient potters if they could somehow see how those skills have been passed down over the centuries.


There is something natural and almost primal about holing a handcrafted piece of pottery in your hand. And it doesn’t really matter what it is – a plate, a cup, a vase, or some delicate decoration; the end effect is the same. When we make human contact with things made by humans, there is a warmth and sense of tranquility that comes with that sensation. It is as if there is a connection between the craftsman and the user. It is as though the clay itself bonds those two people together in ways that reflect our shared humanity and the timeless continuity of our most basic tenets of culture.


That’s the sensation you experience when you hold in your hands a piece from our Gaia Collection. Each piece connects the artisan with the end user and at the same time connects both to a shared history that is larger than any of us. Pottery is, at its core, a uniquely human creation. Perhaps that, more than anything else, helps to explain your affection for those handmade dinnerware items - an affection that we share as well!