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In This Issue

Jul 1, 2024

I’m confident I’m not alone when I share that in the past years, I feel like I have taken on a heavier cognitive load – modern parenting, post-pandemic pivoting, politics, work, and studio practice. I feel like I must keep up with more information and make more crucial decisions than usual. Amidst the mental gymnastics I perform, I find myself seeking out comfort. For me, this manifests in reading. Specifically, I read newspaper comics in the morning and read about traditions or ancient practices to conclude my night. I’ve got a soft spot for Calvin and Hobbes books, stories of Benedictine nuns and monks who care for bees and cattle and make pottery, and essays on the ancestral Puebloans who lived in the Southwest Four Corners region of my childhood home. I know it’s an odd combination, but I’m not one to deny my brain the gentle comforts it craves.

 

This month, Studio Potter welcomes back the “Disappearing Practice” series and adds a new comic series, both of which will grace our publication for the next four months. 

 

Bone Dry Leather Hard – Stories from the Craft Art World” is a comic anthology curated by Richard Nickel, with a foreword by Kathy King. The series is a space that provides artists with a way to feature their mark-making and voices differently and openly. This series blurs the lines between art and narrative, inviting readers to discover the vibrant voices of four featured artists each month. Reading these comics and sharing in the quest for belongingness and self-expression is comforting. 

 

In this month’s free article, Mario Mutis transports readers to a time that could be considered disappearing in his article “Reappearing Practices,” but so eloquently reminds readers that his contemporary work transcends and is a resistance to disappearing physically, spiritually, and mentally. As an editor, I can’t stress enough the objective and intrinsic value gained from hearing or discovering ancestral stories. It comforts my heart to read Mario’s narrative and know faithful stewards are working deliberately to pave the way for resilience and growth while reclaiming traditional practices that will endow future generations.

 

This month we also conclude “A Conversation with Sana Musasama (Part 2)” for what will surely pull at your heartstrings. Sana’s story can be listened to on our new podcast; follow and like on your preferred listening platforms. In our fourth article, Studio Potter closes out the July issue with an interview of three artists from the Unregulated exhibition, wherein they discuss topics on identity, inequality, and advocacy through clay.

Whether you find comfort in the nostalgia of comics or the traditions of your ancestors, this month’s authors create a space of belonging. Comfort within struggle or the burden of our heavier loads doesn’t mean ignoring the difficulties and pain we suffer. By contrast, comfort comes from validation – knowing that you are not alone and that others are doing the good work of advocacy, stewardship, and creative expression.

Randi O'Brien, editor

 

 

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