Editorial: Regional Perspectives and Pottery Tours

Illustration of Elenor Wilson by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.The task of prefacing or introducing each issue of Studio Potter is like buying the perfect birthday gift for a close relative or long-time friend. It should be meaningful, humorous, and celebratory; it must show the right amount of “I know you well” and have a lasting effect, whether or not the actual thing becomes an heirloom or finds another life somewhere else; it should somehow represent what has been and hold potential for what is to be; it should be both familiar and new. In other words, the task seems impossible.

Late in the production of each issue there comes a point at which I can no longer procrastinate writing my editorial. It happens to be the time that I’m giddy with anticipation for printing and mailing out this journal, on which our team at SP and our contributors have worked so hard. It’s as if the birthday party is at seven this evening, I’m running into the corner mart to buy wrapping paper, tape, and an adequate Hallmark card at six-thirty, all while full of optimism about the gift-opening.  

Together, the articles in this issue celebrate its theme, “Regional Perspectives and Pottery Tours,” better than any five-hundred-word editorial could. Articulating the importance of the voices in this issue within the space this page allows would be like trying to explain to the other party-goers the gravity of a deep, lasting friendship with the guest of honor. Everyone would be politely listening, but wishing the dancing and cake-eating would begin already.

In place of my regular treatise, let this be your invitation to the party that is Volume 46, Number 1. My hope is that you’ll arrive with bells on, greeting each author’s place and perspective as you would each potter on your local pottery tour or annual pottery tour pilgrimage. And so that you arrive appropriately dressed, I’ll just give you a brief peek into my motivation for this issue.