Illumination: Light Up Your Life and Everyone Else’s

Nancy Lussier's owls

Nancy Lussier’s owls

Carolyn Detjen

Jan Marx has presented, once again, a challenge. Through the medium of clay pottery, a participant interprets the word illumination. One of the purposes of this challenge is to give opportunity to explore various ways to create with clay. To enhance your creation, you are to use mixed media and one or more types of lighting in your piece.

If you think that pottery and light have had years of examples created and that illuminated ceramics are the norm then you are mistaken. Look up what Roman lamp makers, Chinese potters, 19th century porcelain manufacturers, and modern-day artists have created.

Why innovative artists with their vast knowledge about raw materials, clay, and glazes have not aspired to transform our world with a blending of ceramics and illumination is not known. It seems such a natural combination. Well, our potters are taking the challenge.

Will you build, throw, or sculpt? Is your piece functional or decorative? Or both? At least 50% must be made of clay. At least 1% must be mixed media. Pieces must be fired at both bisque and glaze fire temperatures. This is for strength.

Judging will be done by three artists who are not Happy Potters members, for impartiality. Projects will be judged on creativity and construction.

Let’s go back to the word illumination. What does it mean? Illumination is light, like the illumination of the moon on the surface of a lake. Illumination can also refer to an understanding or a spiritual awareness, like when a mystery of your faith suddenly makes sense to you. An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials, borders, and miniature illustrations.

Because of the coronavirus shutdown, we are not allowed in the pottery room to construct entries. So, I have presented to you a picture of Nancy Lussier’s first place winner from a previous year. “The World is not Flat” was the challenge.

Most importantly, however, this is a challenge. Many members participate just for fun! No matter what your level, you can benefit from the experience. We have three months to complete our venture. May 28, 2020, is the day for judging. The entries will be placed in our window for your pleasure to examine. There are many ways to stay young; ours is to be Happy Potters. Please feel free to join us.