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In This Issue

Jan 3, 2022

Here we are again, sitting pretty at the top of another annum. A new year blesses us with a definitive moment to look back and assess, making note of the lessons behind us before stepping forward to break ground. This issue of Studio Potter was inspired by a conversation from our membership committee. Board Member Lindsay Oesterritter, who is part of the committee, reached out to ask what I thought about doing an issue on tattoos and ceramics. She referenced the Instagram feed started by Kristen Kieffer @potterytattoos, filled with images of gorgeous tattoos with vessels central to the compositions. In the bio, the description reads, “Lovers of tattoos and pottery unite! Stunning tattoo vessels in all flavors.” 

Initially, I wasn’t certain there would be enough content and, if there was content, how deep would it go? But the thread was alluring and … I am envisioning a burlap sack hanging upside down with the closure stitching just loose enough and just within reach that when tugged, even lightly, the contents tumble out and spill across the floor. But it wasn’t a mess, it was a delight to be showered in a new perspective. To purposefully look for artists and stories at the intersection of tattooing and ceramics was an opportunity to look at our niche world through the lens of another art form.

Questions can get turned on their heads when looking through a new lens at a familiar problem. Like in the old drawing assignment where the student is tasked with drawing the subject matter upside down, the brain is tricked into seeing more fully, more accurately by removing the opportunity to fill in gaps. To get new results, you must short-circuit the established short-cuts. 

And it’s fun.

We don’t have to know all the ways looking through another lens benefits us. We don’t have to have all the answers right now. We keep looking. We keep making. We remain open to possibilities. At the root of tattoos and ceramics is dedication to craft, a strong foundation of fundamental skills that result in exponential grandeur when combined with a deep knowledge of history, aesthetics, and process. 

Before I bid you adieu, I want to remind you that with the new year Studio Potter is officially embarking on a new editorial structure. Randi O’Brien will be editing the journal through the May issue. It’s exciting to share the editorial voice, and it is an opportunity to expand the voice of Studio Potter. Randi and I, as we listen for the conversations on the wind, will hear different stories and will hear stories differently from our vantage points. What will remain the same, is the Studio Potter commitment to lifting the voices from the field of ceramics. Do you have a story to tell, a conversation you want to expand, a history you want to explore in 2022? Drop us a line and we’ll do our best to serve the query. 

Be well everyone, Happy New Year, and thanks for reading,

Jill Foote-Hutton, co-editor


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