With its South facing windows frame
the most rugged Mountain View,
a peaceful place fragrant with chaparral,
The sun awakens the studio with the first lit flame
of early morn sending rays of brilliance
spreading across the floor;
looking much like the fingers from the hand
of the artist carrying light into the room.
Places where the light has not penetrated
cast deep shadows that ‘mold their forms like the potter’s’ hand.
Brightened with pure light the water and the clay –
there is a sense of spiritual energy emanating
from the lustrous pottery repose
on pedestals and shelves that line the ‘little artist’ studio.
Cascading fires of soul come to life
with shades of gold and ruby reds,
dancing in the light wearing
colors of a gorgeous patina –
once rough clay now perfected
by a mantle of molten golden orbs.
The smell of wet clay and clean water
tingle’s her nostrils -
following the movement of the sun
from dawn to dusk,
she works with only an artist vision
shaping that perfect vessel
that will hold that elusive beauty
and the magic of transmutation of
earth, air, fire and water.
A small lovely lady her appearances’ elegant and refined,
draped in an embroidered Indian sari,
her long silver hair swept into a knot at the nape of her neck,
she was from a wealthy family,
but her fortune had withered away
after a long and fascinating life,
comes into her own as an artist in her eight decade.
She reaches for a colorful lustrous tea cup,
the one that started this all, she muses,
“this is how I do pottery against all the rules”,
her melodic laugh fills the room, through mastery of technique,
hers were loose and unconventional
"freely exploring form, glaze combinations and happenstance -
exhibiting an embrace of artistic naiveté
and the unexpected results of the kiln."
Her clay is filled with magic,
the world comes pouring in her hand
as the wheel is being spun in a centrifugal force
and the work of the potter’s spirit is imbued in each piece
bringing to life the invisible trapped in the clay
made visible to a moving piece.
Beatrice Wood with a 'Dadaist sense of humor '
and a' romantic view of life,'
had an intuitive use of color and form that served her well,
as she continued working in her studio to the age of 104.
"Beatrice Wood passed away in 1998
at the age of 105 years of age,
with the last 25 years of her life the most productive,
creating work to satisfy a growing market for her ceramics,
writing books and visiting with
the hundreds of people who showed up on her doorstep.
When asked the secret of her longevity,
she would simply offer “art books, chocolates and young men”.
Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 – March 12, 1998)
was an American artist and studio potter.
photo credits ! & 2 rodney smith, 3 & 4 * 8 google image, the rest of Beatrice Woods Center for the Arts.