But really, I have on occasion tried to imagine drinking out of factory molded mugs, tried to envision my mantel filled with photo frames instead of rough and burnt looking vessels, my cupboards bare of mismatched forms and a multitude of surface patterns and colours - each yearning to be chosen from the eclectic grouping each time mealtime comes round.
I am not a potter, nor do I have any desire to feel the material between my fingers or experiment with it's versatility or potential. But I do realize that I have a deep rooted relationship with clay that began over 12 years ago when Robin started bringing home wonky handled mugs and droopy lipped bowls. In only a matter of time our shelves overflowed with his work and that of his peers and mentors. A culling process became necessary to make space for new acquisitions (which by the way, a process that continues to be necessary every so often). Mugs in particular seems to multiply and proliferate on their own in our cupboards. But the pots got better, and our collection more interesting, and I began to understand the connection Robin felt with the material.
Over the years I have developed strong affinities with certain pieces, new favorites have replaced old ones, and tears have been shed over casualties. Preparing a meal now includes the added step of selecting and interacting with bowls, plates and platters - to which I take much delight in. Even the washing up part has lost some it's chore implication, and instead becomes an opportunity to get a closer look at each piece. (OK, sounds a bit corny, but I did say some, not all!)
Our pots are like characters in our lives, enriching our daily tasks through simple interactions and reminding us of their makers or the places we visited. I have tried, but cannot imagine my life without them. In fact I can't even recall the dishes we owned pre-ceramics, I'm not sure my mantel would feel complete without the odd burnt looking object and I do know for sure that without the mug dilemma, I probably wouldn't drink as much coffee as I do.