Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 11 of the Golden Coffee Cup: Craft

Today's high five is a prayerful one from famed San Ildefonso Pueblo potter, Maria Montoya Martinez. I added a picture of one her sublime pots.

Once upon a time I thought about becoming a potter. I learned to throw pots on a wheel. I also learned hand-building techniques. I studied for two years. I went to the studio for six hours twice a week. It was enough time to learn how to throw a set dishes in a afternoon. It was messy, back-breaking work, but there was a wild joy in you when you pulled four exactly matching plates, saucers, and cups. Then you hoped, hoped, hoped, hoped, there were no hidden flaws that would break them during the firing. Then there was a glorious moment when your friends sat down to a dinner on dishes you actually made. It's a wonderful feeling. I get a similar feeling when someone says I read your book.

Today, I'd like to see all The Golden Coffee Cuppers opening up to the extensive craft of storytelling either with words or pictures. It takes time, practice, revision, tenacity, and just a lot of elbow grease to create wonderful work. Open up to the journey today.

Maria’s six-step process “…finding and collecting the clay, forming a pot, scraping and sanding the pot to remove surface irregularities, applying the iron-bearing slip and burnishing it to a high sheen with a smooth stone, decorating the pot with another slip, and firing the pot."
Susan Peterson, The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez

Last, I thought I add little bits about our Golden Coffee Cuppers. We are in the company of several brilliant writers. Chris and Holly are both in. Now, I'd like to mention Carole Estby Dagg. She has a historical fiction book coming out down the road. It was entitled From Mica Creek to New York City, One Step at a Time. . I'm not sure if that has held, but regardless, watch for her book. I heard a chapter of it a few years ago. Her careful crafting in that chapter was breath-taking. I knew when I heard it, I'd heard something special, something lasting. Kudos to Carole. I hope her new novel is humming!

1 comment:

holly cupala said...

Oh, hi, Carole! How exciting that you're working on something new! You have such talent and voice. I remember reading a draft of your first novel (then titled Clara Estby, Pedestrian) years ago for an SCBWI WWA event and being blown away. I can't wait to read it in full, then the next one...and the next...