In This Issue

Aug 1, 2023

Many artists will have to reconcile the role and relevance of their work at some point in their creative lives. This has been, and will continue to be, a line of query that continues to baffle me, though. The Maya Angelou passage, "A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song," jolts in my brain like a caged bird when this line of questioning is presented. As many of our readers know, Studio Potter is taking the next steps in its creative growth as an organization; we are hiring a new executive director. In the course of our hiring process, challenging questions have been asked, and it's no surprise that the topic of relevance rose to the surface.

What is Studio Potter's role in the scheme of our communal ceramic makeup? What is Studio Potter's relevance in a culture of one-minute videos and one-hundred-word consumerism?

As the editor of Studio Potter, I have an agenda – a singular quest.

Creative Wisdom

Our founder, Jerry Williams’s words thunder in my brain: "SP is for hard-core pottery. Nothing else will do." Pounding alongside his words are Marry Barringer's words: "From the very beginning, SP sounded a different note from the other publications then available. It was grassroots and feisty. It presented potters in their studios rather than objects in galleries and provided technical information in an informal and seat-of-the-pants manner. It spoke up for localness, self-sufficiency, and the independent yet communitarian spirit."

A major function of Studio Potter’s relevance is to protect space for the multitude of human-interest stories that affect our community. In the past month of our hiring process, I have heard Studio Potter, as an organization, categorized on the one hand, as too academic and, on the other hand, as too unpolished. As a singular statement, I find the criticism frustrating because, both of which are true, Studio Potter assembles the multitudes of our unique experiences. Creative wisdom resides between the spaces of "one or the other" and in the assemblage of all of our stories.

In this spirit, Studio Potter presents this month’s theme, "Assembling Multitudes." Authors share perspectives on the multiplicity of what it is to be human, what it is to be creative, what it is to be curious, and the history and contemporary concepts of ceramic art and artists. I welcome you to read these stories not because they provide the answer to relevance but because, like Maya Angelou's phrase, "it sings because it has a song," you too have a story. 



Randi O'Brien, editor

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