Towards A Standard: Searching for Beauty

Enter the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017) and you could win one of our best Nuka Cobalt Mugs paired with a copy of “A Potter’s Book” by Bernard Leach, totally free. This story tells how “A Potter’s Book” inspired the creation of our “Standard Ware” line of pottery.

Bernard Leach dedicated “A Potter’s Book” to all potters. In additional to giving the reader everything he or she needed to create a life as a potter, he encouraged potters to aspire to a higher calling. Leach coined the term, “Towards A Standard” because he wanted potters to continually search for beauty.

Pots are like people. Some are thick and some are thin. A crack or chip in a mug resembles a scar in our skin. If your favorite coffee mug chips, do you throw it out? I sure don’t. I generally love it until it breaks completely, until the end of it’s life.

Leach was searching for beauty, but he admitted that beauty is arbitrary. Not everyone sees beauty the same, but through a lifelong investigation of historical pottery and open minded critique of ourselves and our pots, we might get closer to discovering more honest standards of beauty.

“It must always be remembered that the dissociation of use and beauty is a purely arbitrary thing. It is true that pots exist which are useful and not beautiful, and other that are beautiful and impractical; but neither of these extremes can be considered normal: normal is a balanced combination of the two.”

Bernard Leach, “A Potter’s Book” Page 44. Faber and Faber, 1940

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