Lorie Nelson, 2018I don’t recall which issue served as my introduction to Studio Potter. I do vividly remember my first thoughts. “This is absolutely stunning! I am looking at a literary journal centered around ceramics. How wonderful!” 

I am honored to be a part of this diverse, lush, often exotic, and beautifully designed publication. I love that it offers an array of personal narratives, interviews, articles of educational and historical significance, poems and, yes, even a play called The Hawthorn Vase: A Chinese Fantasy, by Charles F. Binns, in the December 1998 issue.  

In selecting articles centered around the theme of fiber and clay, commonly known as paper clay, I included a personal narrative, interviews of artists who were innovators in the medium, educational articles that introduce new technical applications, and links for readers’ further exploration. Beyond the printed page, on the Studio Potter website, you’ll find more on paper clay in the form of video storytelling.  I hope this issue of SP will encourage you to experiment with this material. My wish for all of you is best expressed by this poem by the Irish poet John O’Donohue that I keep on the wall of my studio: 


Beannacht (Blessing) 

On the day when 

The weight deadens 

On your shoulders 

And you stumble, 

May the clay dance 

To balance you. 


And when your eyes 

Freeze behind 

The grey window 

And the ghost of loss 

Gets into you, 

May a flock of colours, 

Indigo, red, green 

And azure blue, 

Come to awaken in you 

A meadow of delight. 


When the canvas frays 

In the currach of thought 

And a stain of ocean 

Blackens beneath you, 

May there come across the waters 

A path of yellow moonlight 

To bring you safely home. 


May the nourishment of the earth be yours, 

May the clarity of light be yours, 

May the fluency of the ocean be yours, 

May the protection of the ancestors be yours. 


And so may a slow 

Wind work these words 

Of love around you, 

An invisible cloak 

To mind your life.