Wednesday, December 15, 2010


What is it about lidded pieces that are so fascinating? Is it the myriad of forms, types of lids or approaches to decoration? Is it the mystery of what they contain, past, present or future? I find the possibility of not knowing the contents to be part of my love for lidded vessels, in the appreciation of them and the making.

A few years back, I read an article that got me thinking about “the handmade” in relationship to pottery in general. Since as a vessel, the lidded form has provided mankind a myriad of uses from protecting seeds/grain, food, herbs and medicines and a wide variety of ritualistic practices; it was (and still is) an essential part of human existence. I have thought that it can connect us in a modern age to what it means to be human and our vast history and experiences. Objects that are based on the handmade nourish our being and environment. The lidded form, from my perspective is essential for the containment of the everyday.

Illustrated is a large thrown and altered covered box form by Michael Simon. This piece was glazed first and then fired in a wood kiln that had salt introduced to the firing. The fit of the lid is exceptional and there is just enough throwing marks left on the inside and out to show how this piece started out. I do wonder what it holds presently and what it will hold in the years to come.

(Used with permission from a private collection of American and British pottery.)

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