Starfish Mug by Ginette Arsenault
"This picture was taken in 1984 when I was a happy potter in Tracadie New Brunswick, Canada.
Life then decided that we would go on a journey of discovery and for 28 years, I did everything but make pottery. But in the back of my mind always remained the thought of the pure joy of working with clay, which I did every time I had the opportunity.
Finally in 2012 came a life changing commitment : I decided to leave every other endeavor behind and become what my soul was calling for. So, starting from scratch, I opened my pottery studio on Arnold Lane in Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada.
I had no idea if I still remembered how to center a pot! Realized then that making pots is like riding a bike, some things are never totally forgotten. But then another question arose : I had no clue about what I wanted to make! What colors I liked, what glazes, why I needed to do this so strongly. So I made pots, all kinds of pots, going in every direction, trying techniques to see what would speak to me now.
I knew I could not go back to what I was doing in the eighties, that was then and I had evolved. So making pottery was intercepted by a lot of questioning about who I was now, what I wanted to express and how to go about it. The only thing I knew for certain was my love of the water. And, in time, of colors. And simplicity. I realized that creating with clay makes me feel my connection to the Everything in life.
It frees me to manifest my joy of being alive, of savoring every present moment. Like the ebb and flow of water against sand, I feel pulled towards clay and pushed by clay, pulled in to become aware of who I am and pushed out towards expressing it.
I love the adventure of creating with clay, from a thought in my mind, a dream, into reality. Clay challenges me to pay attention to everything, from the thought, the making, the drying, the bisque, the glazing, to the final firing. It allows me to experience and be aware of a wide range of emotions: fear, disappointment, anticipation, the feeling of a job well done, to the joy of sharing the final product. It's living an eternal beginning; there is always a new form waiting at the next turn.
Whether I'm making a cup, a bowl, or a flower vase, they will always be a bit different because each ball of clay has its own story to tell and I have my own thoughts about what I want to create. We meet in that somewhere that is discovery, surprise, gratitude,sometimes disbelief, joy and magic! Like a tango!
My inspiration is the sea, I seek guidance from it and it's ever changing moods and movements, energy, patience and quiet contemplation. So when the day begins, neither of us really knows where we are going, but we go together in search of making that perfect creation. Clay challenges me to give everything I have to offer in every way. Every morning, I get up in anticipation of the direction we are taking together in my studio on that particular day.
I strive for simplicity. My goal is to bring a bit of joy into your home, by means of simple decorative and utilitarian pieces enhanced by color. I call it .... cottage chic!
You'll see new colors all the time in my palette. Sometimes color begets form. So it also becomes an unending pursuit of new shapes." Ginette Arsenault