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Acid hitting the tongue. Caffeine coursing through tight veins. Lukewarm toffee colored liquid sitting in a stoneware cylinder beside me as my groggy eyes still adjust to the brightness of my laptop screen. I know it's not the best for me, but I still drink this ritualized brew each morning. This morning, on my way to the woods for a morning run with my dog, Luna, I began questioning the idea of routine vs. habit. In this context, I was mulling over my fondness for all things ingestible. I have a daily love affair with food that often surpasses the border of merely providing sustenance. When I feel most vulnerable, or dissatisfied with myself for lack of productivity in studio or in life, I turn to the satiating feeling of fullness.

Preparing a bowl of popcorn, lavishly coated in dairy free butter and generously sprinkled with salt, feels like a ritual in itself. But once the ritual is over, the habitual, routine like motions take over and my hand becomes an automatic feeder, grabbing handfuls of popcorn and mechanically shoveling away. As I write this, I'm wondering why I even bothered to write about my eating habits in the first place. But then I remember the link I'm trying to make. It's the relationship of container to contained. In this case, I am a container for food. But the food itself is often contained before I consume it. When I started making ceramics, the natural path for me was to invest in making forms that could provide a function. To hold a warm bowl of soup, or to drink from a rough stoneware lipped mug, has been the most satisfying as a maker. I find myself enjoying the simple pleasures of creating vessels for containing nourishment. And in that appreciation, I am trying to find my own calmer, more appreciative approach to consuming. Consuming not only food, but material objects. I now savor the beauty of a simple hand made object, for it's quiet contemplation. There's a reason fast food does not truly satisfy the soul. It's devoid of honest, pure, intention. To create something that has a lasting positive effect. In this indulgent consumer society, there is a greater call for slow consumption. To contemplate what we ingest, not only for our bodies, but for our minds. I may make my popcorn, and consume it with gusto, but the sensory experience of hearing kernels ting against the hot lid of the stainless steel pan, and their rapid rumbling as they push against the lid, is enough reason for me to justify this sort of gluttony. I may be expanding my belly past a level of comfort, but I expand my appreciation for the handmade vs. industrialized. Microwaved popcorn will never hold the same joy for me as the vigorous shaking of stainless steel over a hot flame. And that is the same for my view on all things handmade.


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