The mailman brought me a special package yesterday. It contained a catalog from an art exhibition in Austraila. The exhibition was a collection of the work of the Japanese artist, Rengetsu (1791-1875). She was raised in an well endowed family and received an exceptional education--especially in all the arts. Yet her life presented many hardships for her to overcome. Rengetsu was married twice and gave birth to several children--none of which survived infancy. When finally she found herself totally alone she became a Buddhist nun.
Here is the connection I am leading up to. To earn a little money she began making pottery--mostly for the tea ceremony--which became very popular. She was also a well respected poet, calligrapher and artist. She wrote her poems on her pottery in her unique calligraphic style. Her work reminds me of Elaine Spallone's grieving vessels. The work of both these artists is very inspiring to me. I am certain I will try my own version of this when I finally get back into my studio.
The catalog is lovely with several essays about Rengetsu and her life and photographs of her work.