It all started with one of Debra's vases.

Long ago my idea of a perfect pot was one that was flawlessly smooth and had no
variation in the glaze. You know, just like the kind you find in any five and dime.
I didn't understand that these mugs and bowls could hold your coffee or ice cream
but they had no soul.

Then one day I picked up a vase that Debra had made almost a decade
earlier. It was signed in her hand and marked with the year of it's creation. There
were marks made by her fingers and the unevenness of a hand-applied glaze.
It was perfect in its imperfection. It contained her spirit and it spoke to me.

The fact that this beautiful, durable work of art was once a maleable,
amorphous lump of clay facinated me. This was real. No imitation. Not just another
vase unpacked from a case of eleven more exactly like it. And, I knew the person
who had made it.

Many years had passed since she last shaped clay and it was long past time
for her to get back into it. So I bought her a wheel.

Still facinated, I signed up for classes and began my journey in clay. A pitcher
that another student had produced caught my eye. It reminded me of those
enameled camp coffee pots and inspired me to see if I could make clay look like
NOT clay.

Larry Nelson