Decorative Only


The Arts Center a few miles from our house holds a pottery sale every spring and fall. My husband and I go every fall, often with an eye toward Christmas shopping. Bowls and cups of every shape and size, created by instructors and students, are offered for sale at very reasonable prices.

They're almost too affordable, because we always bring home a piece or two.

Recently, I realized that through the years I have accumulated a small collection of blue handmade pots from this sale. They probably cost $8 each. I now have four of them on the bookcase in my office.

The bowls I especially like have a Raku finish. My knowledge of Raku is limited, but as I understand it, a quick firing and finishing technique produces a metallic glaze. That’s what I like about it: the metallic part. My bowls have blues, purples, and reds in them that are muted by a bronze/copper glaze.

Because Raku is porous, these bowls can’t hold food or water, so they can't be used as serving pieces. Their function is decorative only. And that’s all right with me.

Beauty often doesn’t have a tangible, practical purpose—at least nothing that can be quantified and measured. But we live in a world that values hurry up, move along, get it done, and check it off. We need beauty to bring color, grace, warmth, and balance to our lives. We need beauty to slow us down. My little collection of $8 bowls helps me do that.

What do you think the purpose of beauty is? I'd love to know. Leave a comment below or on Facebook here.