I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the past few months. Life has been full and busy with museum work, summer vacation for my children and a whole ménage of other things including some trips to see my family.
When I started writing this blog last year I wanted it to include stories about life and family. The inspiration came in a few ways. Southerners have a gift for telling stories. My family is no different. My ancestors have lived in the south for…well… FOREVER. Especially Kentucky. So we know how to tell a good story. These narratives have come in the form of letters from Civil War ancestors to recent emails from my brothers. I have been raised on stories told by my mother who was a bank teller for many years and came home after work with the latest community gossip and by my father who shared adventures and mishaps at Patsy Jane, our family coal mine.
I love to write and I love visual art, so I guess it is fitting that I have a passion to carry on this story telling tradition. Writing is a great thing to multi task in between work, doing laundry, driving kids to activities and after dinner. But lately I have been putting my writing aside and resurrecting my love for clay. With an exhibition coming up this fall, I am busy creating ceramic functional work. Incised into these bowls, tumblers, serving dishes and containers are narratives in the form of visual poems. Three things I love are coming together: stories, clay and food.
The inedible accoutrements that we use for meals plays a role in how we taste and perceive food. I recently heard on NPR a report from the journal Flavour about researchers who studied how spoons, knives and other utensils we put in our mouths can provide their own kind of “mental seasoning” for a meal. We all set a common table whether we are rich or poor or from whatever region we call home. We make and serve our food in pots, pans, serving dishes that can range from a lucky find at T.J. Maxx to our grandmother’s beloved Sunday china.
I can’t think of a better way to receive a story than having it be the vehicle that serves our meals.