Confession about acquisition…

Let me begin by stating I have few needs and wants. This does not mean that I am without desire, or prone toward acquiring objects which have little usefulness in my life. This afternoon Martha and I attended the opening of the “Out of the Ombu” exhibition which Looking For Beauty and I did installation last Thursday. I am such a sucker for quiet, tactile beauty, and should have realized I was in trouble when the first area of concern for exhibition to me was for six examples of Shino ware. While the curator was explaining the need to display 6 sculptural pieces against the main wall, I was ruminating about where to display these gems. In less than three minutes, I had dragged over the display plinths and placed the beautiful, quiet-as-a-whisper pieces – two tall slab bottles with diagonal carved stripes, two small bottles, beautiful examples of Tobigana with subtle blue soda glaze, and two Tobigana bowls with Shino slip decoration.
One of the pleasures and privileges of mounting an exhibition is the opportunity to closely look at and handle art objects – on a more intimate level than is available to the gallery goer. When I upended the Tobigana bowls and happened to see the accidental glazing due to the vagaries of wood firing on the surface of the chattered ware and the subtle beauty of the foot finish, I should have realized that the demon of acqusitiveness that lurks in my otherwise modest person would set up a persistent chant in my unconscious – “these are meant to be for you!”
Barely one minute into the opening, my feet took me to this part of the exhibition, and immediately to the curator to beg for a red dot to place by the two Shino Tobinaga bowls. I did not care whether these items were of collectible value, nor that the potter was a relative unknown. That doesn’t figure in my estimation of the desirability of these beautiful bowls. What did was their quiet insistence that existence is very much dependent on the vagaries of chance acting on material, and that these items had been blessed by the character of heat and fire carefully tended by the potters, and the happenstance of these objects’ position inside the ombu and the introduction of soda ash at a particular time during the firing. Nothing is guaranteed! That is of what these bowls speak to me – and of unexpected gorgeousness.
Now, I have put myself in the position of bringing these items into my home. How do I explain this compulsion to Rumpole? Me, who prides herself on wanting little. But, by gum! I can hardly wait to bring these beauties home. I know I was meant to have them. Earlier this week, as I was dusting the mantle I picked up the beautiful Tobigana decorated vase I had picked up a couple of months ago from the Sally Ann. It has a gorgeous salt glaze, a simple form and a subtle chatter decoration around the shoulder. It cost $1. I googled the decorative practice and did some reading on the technique this week. And, behold, this opportunity has occurred.
I feel very fortunate to be able to afford such an act of whim. Maybe Rumpole will understand.
But I have plans. I talked with the potter at the opening – an older Japanese lady. She was pleased I so wanted these two bowls. As I was gazing at them and lifted them up to run my greedy fingers over the surface, I decided to paint them as a still life from many aspects when I get them home. What a challenge to paint using earth colours to approximate the feelings which these objects yield to me. I can hardly wait for the six weeks of the exhibition to be over.

15 Responses to “Confession about acquisition…”

  1. roger bourland Says:

    Wow! How about a photo. Eager to see and share the lust for wabi sabi!

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Roger – as soon as the bowls come home – in 5 weeks – I shall set Rumpole to make portraits of them and will post them for you. Still pinching myself in BC. G

  2. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Sometimes the beauty of excellence in creation is just overwhelming, eh.
    I would love to see a photo as well. πŸ™‚

    Marsha J. O’Brien

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Marsha – as I promised to Roger, so it will be for you posted pics in @ 5 weeks or so. The potter lady was so thrilled when I enumerated all the aspects of beauty of her work – it is great to be able to share delight with the creator. G

  3. The Querulous Squirrel Says:

    Great story of how art inspires art.

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Squirrel – can hardly wait to bring those bowls home so I can do some painting experiments and try to express what is so profoundly beautiful of them with paint. That will be the challenge. G

  4. ybonesy Says:

    Good point, Q Squirrel. And I, too, eagerly await the photos. Hopefully in situ so we can see where you found to display them. (BTW, I bought three paintings last March, only got the last two delivered two weeks ago, and by George, they are huge! Where to display…I hope they don’t stay in storage for ages while I grapple with this new dilemma.)

  5. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    You are so cute as you are so tickled about it! I am sure you will know exactly what to do to enhance their beauty! How exciting. Say, if you have a moment, I have one contest I am presenting (free) on my stress management website, and one I wrote a short entry for on another website. I would really appreciate you taking a couple of minutes to check them out – IF you like! I think I have great prizes on mine and the other would be such a surprise for my honey.
    Thanks and blessings and love to you!
    This one is about a “hell” hotel

  6. christine Says:

    Greedy for beauty doesn’t seem so bad!

  7. Deborah Barlow Says:

    It is a description of an experience I know now. And one that I can only hope more people allow themselves to experience. Thanks for this, well presented and compelling.

  8. canadada Says:

    … I knew it, you be a magpie!!! – πŸ™‚

  9. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Ah! When an object calls your name and you cannot resist it, it is a marriage made in heaven. You could no more have left these objects wander the universe after the exhibition than you could have sold your first born. You were destined to have these.
    Congratulations on your purchase. I have seen them and they are truly beautiful.

  10. Trish Scott Says:

    Hi G. Long time no see. Are you OK? Maybe just given up blogging for awhile.

  11. The Querulous Squirrel Says:

    I hope you’re OK.

  12. canadada Says:

    Merry Christmas G.
    Hope all is well – C

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