• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
Image by

Window onto My Mother’s Work

Through the oval opening into the shop
From our back room, I see her work,
The artistry that feeds and clothes me.
Pots, urns, plates, fill the room, all turned
On the big wheel,
Powered by her strong legs,
Shaped by her rough fingers, same
That caress me at night after the clay
With the sandpaper touch of a cats tongue.
When she wields her clay knife to carve
Patterns, scrape mistakes from the wheel,
I’m invited to try my hand at working with the slip wet stuff. Early on, I decided
The wheel is not for me.
Instead, I work with ruler, knife, pinching off, bits, I shape by hand
Making perfect squares, transforming those into necklaces, earrings, key holders.
Mother offers glazes.
Occasionally, I accept.
Through the oval, I see her work. When she comes into the back room, she admires mine hanging, waiting to be taken into her studio, also to be sold.
But she never tries to push me to the wheel, instead praising my
way with the clay, squares instead of rounds,
Hand building instead of wheel,
Creating unique beauty with the same material, each in our own way.