Bowl “Keeping Memories”
I did not experience the time when my grandparents’ farm flourished. A significant share of my childhood is filled by a farmstead where more or less all buildings remained, but the owner no more. By now some of the buildings are marked only by their foundations. Seeing buildings silently crumbling – because they are no more needed or there is insufficient energy to repair them – leaves a strong mark. It was not such that one day an obsolete building was just pushed over and an empty space remained. The going took a long time. The barn, pigsty, cowshed, sauna – all had their own time. As kids we could still play in the big stable neglected by the collective farm. A gap in the roof began to live its own life, sometime it got a sheet to cover it, then again it was ripped larger by the wind. Finally the rain did its own job and the roof grew so heavy that upon entering the stable it was scary to look up on the half-rotten beam ceiling. In the end roof and ceiling indeed foundered. The walls were made of clay, because the farmer of course used readily available materials, and our forest provided clay which while being no good for burning bricks was well suited for kneading into granary and stable walls. Rain storms, finally a cleaning-up gathering and construction of a new sauna, and all that remained of the large stable was a strip of foundation and a minor heap of clay. Some of this clay reached the city in a box. When fire usually tends to eat up houses, then this time the red-hot heat on the contrary helped preserve the memory of a building. The reddish brown glaze on a pottery item is a part of that stable where my grandmother once cared for her 14 cows. Coming from fire this handful will not let itself wash down to soil by the rain. This time, the blue glazing produced by Terracolor in Germany depicts the water-filled clay pits in the forest. A little bit of an Estonian farmstead.
Was awarded 1st prize in 2017 competition “Born of Fire” by the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union.
Pottery has been made for millenniums. Such a long history provides us with endless sources for inspiration. However, I am not a scientist systematically researching a specific theme. Rather, new information reaches me randomly and in bits & pieces. Some of those then stay and take up their own life in my mind, requiring that something be done about them. Naturally, the ancient Peruvian whistling vessels captured my attention, tempting to do something similar myself. My whistling vessels carry no ancient mysteries. Crafted with fun and inspiration, they are just somewhat larger than average whistles, into which whistling water may be poured. But just the thought that they thus combine the classic four elements – Earth, Fire, Water, and Air – sends the imagination flying and boggles the mind with the question, what the ancient South American indigenous people really did with those peculiar vessels…