Saturday, August 25, 2007

happy as kings

I love books--especially pottery books. This week I got 2 fabulous books--both from far away. Several months ago I read a review in "Ceramics Art & Perception" (the Australian magazine) of a new book, "The Zen Master, the Potter, and the Poet" by Milton Moon. Since all three subjects in the title are near to my heart I was eager to get a copy. I searched for it on Amazon and then did a Google search but neither of them turned up any thing about the book. Frustrated, but not deterred, I sent an email request to the publisher in Australia, negotiated for them to send me the book and received it last week. What a treasure! Milton Moon is a highly respected potter in Australia who made several trips to Japan studying pottery and Zen. This book is a lovely description of his experiences visiting potters in Japan and of the time he spent studying Zen under his master at Daitokuji in Kyoto. It has some photos of his pottery--but the focus is on his experiences, not on his pottery. A wonderful book which I am reading slowly to savor each step along his journey!

The second is a book of photos of Phil Rogers' pottery published by the Pucker Gallery in Boston who features his work. I know of Phil through his book on throwing--which is a wonderful guide to this craft/art. Recently I was visiting his web site and saw a note that a book about his work was about to be published. Off I went to Amazon and found that they did have it listed but it had not yet been published--it was expected to be published in July. So I placed my order and began my wait. A few weeks ago I got a notice that the publication date had been changed and I might not get my copy until sometime in October. OK, I can wait. It arrived yesterday. If I had known what a treat it would be I would have had a hard time being patient. It is filled with beautiful color photos of his work which bears a strong similarity to Japanese pottery. A really beautiful book!

What an incredible blessing--being part of the pottery community. I love all of it: the presence of pottery going back into the prerecorded history of man; the incredible literature that has accompanied pottery through the ages; and the wonderful people that make up that community--all of these riches freely available to each of us. I cannot believe my good fortune to have found my way into this world of pottery and to have been so graciously welcomed into it.

"The world is so full of a number of things, I ’m sure we should all be as happy as kings." Robert Lewis Stevenson

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