Writing my first book was a big project to undertake – a project I previously wrote about.
You might be thinking (cue up best Captain Kirk voice) – ‘Damnit, Jim, he’s a potter, not a writer!’, but you’d be wrong. I have always enjoyed writing and being able to combine it with my pottery and use the pieces to retell these myths through a modern lens had me almost as hot as my kiln! And managing to put them all together in a book – ah-glazing!
For those who are newer to The Alchemist’s Studio and wondering “A book? What book!?” well – I am glad you asked!
“A Potter’s Dream: Myths and Legends” collects stories across cultures and centuries, adapting them to his pottery with wit, love, compassion and joy. “A Potter’s Dream: Myths and Legends” is a decidedly modern take on the traditional topics of pottery, healing, community – and what it means to be human – all interwoven with the magic of raku and stunning pottery.
It makes for a great coffee table book, bedtime reading, bathroom book or gift for the art lover on your shopping list.
You may not know, but each of the vases on the site has an associated myth.
Let’s take a look at 5 of them.
The Eye of Balor
Think you have issues with your daddy? ‘The Eye of Balor’ tells the tale of an Irish giant, a prophecy, his captive daughter, some serious control issues, a late night rendezvous and a whole lot of famillicide!
This raku vase’s name was chosen by Mandy Lewis-Houston during our July Edition of ‘Name that Vase’, who explains it as follows:
I would call it “Phoenix Reborn” for several reasons. First is a little on the nose since it’s Raku and forged in flame. The second is because, if I read your blog properly, this is the first work you have finished since your sad loss. Lastly because July has been stupid hot for almost everyone everywhere so this could be a lovely harbinger of cooler times since it’s out of the flames and hopefully so are we all.
Evangeline tells the tale of a great Acadian love story that is a part of the local culture here in my home of Nova Scotia.
‘Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie’ is an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In this poem he follows her search for long lost love Gabriel, with whom she was betrothed.
The aboriginal 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.
Gossip Girl pays tribute to a nymph renowned for her beauty named Larunda. Larunda was also known for another trait. She talked a lot. Her parents, try as they might, could not curb this trait and her love of gossip.
These are only a small portion of the vases and their stories available in my first book, “A Potter’s Dream Myths and Legends.” You can read more about the vase stories over on the vase page, or of course, in the book itself.