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Raku Bowl Inspired by a Papago (Tohono O' Odham) Indian Basket

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This bowl was originally made as a practice piece during an early studio lesson at the Tucson Museum of Art. I threw it carelessly, then decorated, glazed and fired it, all carelessly.

It was a funk time in my life.

When the bowl came out of the kiln I thought, "What a monstrosity." The glaze was bubbling, runny, and ruining the design right before my eyes as I held it glowing in the iron kiln tongs. It ticked like a time bomb as it lay smouldering in the sawdust, and made crude and embarrassing noises sinking into the cold water.

Later, I was on my way to toss it onto the shards pile, when my instructor, Janet Burner, grabbed it and said, "This one goes on exhibit."

It's the first piece of mine to be exhibited at a museum, albeit a museum school exhibition.

And I've got to tell you, I've kept this pot, and I've grown to really, really love it. If any one pot of mine has wabi, sabi and wabi-sabi, all rolled into one, it's this homage to the beautiful baskets that are handwoven from sun-bleached yucca leaves and the black horns of devil's-claw seed pods by the Papago (Tohono O'odham) Indians of the American Southwest.

Status: still in the potter's personal collection.

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