Pottery is an art form that, for me, evokes a sense of history and permanence. It is a tangible reflection of a culture, often the last to remain after all other elements are lost. It also has a physicalilty in its weight, shape and texture that engages all your senses and somehow instills a feeling of connection and tranquility when perusing its beauty. That is why I love to include images of pottery so often in my work.
Years ago I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. While there I got to experience firsthand the colorful melting pot of cultures and traditions throughout this nation of many islands, big and small. One of the islands I unfortunately didn’t get to visit was the island of Lombok, just east of Bali. Fortunately, its famous and beautiful Sasak pottery could be easily found in Jakarta. This pottery is quite unique in both materials and design. It comes from three villages on Lombok, each having their own distinctive designs. The pots are made without kilns. Instead the clay is laboriously ground, then built up, shaped, designed and varnished with coconut oil and other clays before being allowed to dry first in shade, then under the hot tropical sun. The results are lustrous, earthy pots ranging from deep siena tones to rich blacks. You can see some beautiful examples here.
I couldn’t get enough of this beautiful pottery and bought a wide range of it. The pot illustrated above is one of my favorite ones and is a rich mix of black and earthy red with bars and triangular patterns etched on its surface. I love its shape as much as its color and texture. It is pictured below.
I have used this pot as inspiration for a number of prints. You can see one example here. The pot is used here to invoke that sense of timelessness implicit in the piece.
The etching I created above has just returned home after being part of a multi-province tour of a mini print exhibit based in Vancouver, called BIMPE. It is used here to represent history and culture, bathed in memory’s warm light.
Lombok Glow, a 4″x6″ monoprint, is offered this week at $100, unframed.