Vying (and Dying) for Love

From the Northwest of the United States this vase tells the tale of a love triangle of the gods and a fiery sibling rivalry that required some pretty extreme parental intervention.

The indigenous people in the north west of the United States told early explorers a tale about a mountain called Louwala-Clough; you may know this mountain as Mount St. Helens.

According to legend, this mountain used to be a beautiful woman who was named Loowit. There were two braves, who happened to be brothers that were vying for her love. These were not just any two braves, for they were the sons of the Great Spirit, Sahale.

Unfortunately, Loowit spoiled by choice, could not decide which of these brothers to choose. This only intensified the rivalry between the two brothers Wyeast and Klickitat. They fought intensely, leaving a fiery trail of destruction around them, throwing rocks and liquid fire at one another, burning villages and forest alike.

Their father, the Great Spirit, Sahale grew weary of the destruction caused by his battling sons and the indecisive beauty Loowit. In a move that would be frowned upon by any of today’s authorities on parenting, but probably very much appreciated by the locals of the time, he decided to smite all three of them.

In their place he erected three mountain peaks, Loowit was turned to a beautiful snow covered peak (Mount St. Helens), Wyeast (Mount Hood) with his head raised in pride, and Klickitat (Mount Adams) with his gaze fixed on Loowit for all of eternity – or until erosion ultimately gets the better of the three.

Now due to her indecisiveness Loowit gets to spend what will seem like an eternity with two rock solid men and is spared the anguish of choice.

You can see more images of the raku vase ‘Louwala-Clough’ here.

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44 Comments

  1. 😁 this is a rare moment of p u’re bliss imagining not a trinket on display pottery art of yours but beer jug…a real 😜 “growler”. While I toured the area and it wasn’t close open yet for forgive me it’s 11 years since… I remember high crabbiness as my foot hurt bad that trip… But I found wow beer. But realistically you’d be surprised I only heard of growlers five years later. Same as I understood ” long enough to grab a handle from the top” (lido shuffle, boz scaggs) to mean a quart or 40oz of Budweiser beer. And got my first whiner… As by the tree me I could search for growlers by name I couldn’t consume that much!…in a smaller city of Columbus Georgia 2016/17 it was an apricot sour. Now laugh with me just a moment that apricots symbolism oft is of love. And sour is obvious… And such is as I got in those days hahaha! Better still, colors have mathmatic opposites and the golden hues of beer are but blues of a pot/,jug….and would a cork keep it fizzy and what choice would I most wish based on what’s gettable? Again as travels go the most beer moment is Florida panhandle and an Abita brand hazelnut brown ale across from the now done-in Martin theater for a community level theater I won’t soon forget the anguish on the younger clerk checking me into my room with her beside me even if I didn’t expect “company” ooi green-eyed whining jealousy!. But, the point hopefully clear is how you evoke memories in a vessel of art. Art always must evoke.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and I am glad to hear that you found this piece evocative!

  2. Hahaha! “Loowit gets to spend what will seem like an eternity with two rock solid men and is spared the anguish of choice.” – made me laugh out loud (thanx! – I needed that)
    Of course depending on how you look at it, that makes it seem like she was REWARDED for the trouble she caused, except now her anguish of choice is eternal…
    Pretty vase, BTW

    1. Thank you for your comment! So glad you enjoyed it. I hope you are keeping safe and well.

  3. Beautiful colours for this your vase and nice legend ispired you, I see the color of the sky and the mountains of legend mirrored in the transparent vase

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I enjoy pairing the two together and I hope you are keeping well.

    1. Thank you for your comment! It does definitely have some interesting qualities to it. I hope you are keeping well

  4. A few years ago, we took a trip to Portland. On the way to Mount Hood, our tour guide stopped and showed us a painting underneath an overpass that depicted this mournful story.

  5. A native of Seattle, I’ve always enjoyed seeing the west coast volcanoes – Rainier, St Helens, Hood, Adams, Baker and Glacier Peak. I was home outside Seattle when St Helens erupted, watching the enormous plume of smoke and ash rise thousands of feet into the sky, a vivid memory. I didn’t know the native history of the peaks, however, so thank you for sharing it, enlightening me to a wonderful story, and interpreting it in your gorgeous pottery.

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