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The Passion Behind Pottery


Potters take the most humble of substances—literal clay dirt from the ground—and spin it into something breathtaking to look at, as well as functional. I always wonder who and how did someone come up with this idea one day, but then I remember this is an art born out of necessity.  

Imagine life without your mugs, bowls, or plates. How would you eat properly or even just contain water for that matter? We take our basic utensils for granted, not realizing how pottery is beyond a craft art or hobby for us. Necessity opens doors to innovate the world around us and make life more beautiful, even if it’s just through a mug or a soup bowl.

When I was younger I would take a clay camp during the summer, where the kids would make their own little bowls to be kiln-fired and glazed by the teachers. Even then, I was drawn to the earthiness of what we were doing. What was basically mud was the source of creating sculptures, functional pieces, and sentimental tokens. How amazing is it that dozens of children can take the same clay and create so many different things from it?

Whenever I scroll through Pinterest and see other artists’ work, I can’t help but marvel at their wondrous ideas. Beautiful sculptures of the human figure, usable terracotta pots for cooking, miniature villages created with such detail: it all drives me to the pottery wheel.

In our lives, we feel rushed all the time (deadlines are my arch-nemesis), as if there is no time whatsoever to create something; we just go with the orderly flow of things. A lot of people cram the whole “self-care” ruse down your throat, and I’ve never really found those kinds of tips useful for my own mental well-being. But then I realized that everyone has their own unique outlet, their own escape. Mine happens to be a type of work—creating and adding beauty to my environment. But when you are truly passionate about what you’re doing and accomplishing, it shouldn’t feel like work at all, it should feel gratifying. I smile when I see my work in use or admired. Maybe it’s just ego or self-reassurance, but I know that is when I feel most useful.

Life has been busy. I’ve been typing away at my laptop, uninspired. My pottery wheel sits in the basement—untouched, lonely. It’s time for not only me, but for others to snap out of the dreariness of arbitrary living. Creating something is much better than doing nothing.

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Jenna Wilson

Oswego '22

Jenna is a senior at SUNY Oswego majoring in Mass Communications and aiming for a Master's in Strategic Communications. Planning on working as a creative/art director, she’s also dreaming of yet another trip to Disney World. Jenna is also an avid lover of reality television, 90s music, and most of all, her family (and Bostons).