Great Leaps & Subtle Changes

“The journey from semi-anonymity of the Cardew-inspired piece to the highly identifiable Spira bowl has involved a series of progressions, each one exploring new ideas and diverse thoughts, each of them different interpretations of the classic form of a bowl. Some have involved a great leap, others more subtle moves, all part of a potter finding his own way with clay.” ~ Emmanuel Cooper (“Taking Risks”, an essay about the ceramic artist Rupert Spira’s creative evolution published in Rupert Spira: Bowl, published by Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts)

I recently happened upon a book titled Rupert Spira: Bowl, a smartly curated and handsomely designed exploration of Rupert Spira’s ( ceramic bowls. It was my first encounter with Spira and his captivating pottery.

Progress involves lofty leaps and slight tweaks… No risk, no progress!

The quotation excerpted above appears in the book’s opening essay. Aside from the lovely phrase, “a potter finding his own way with clay,” which I can’t help rolling around my mouth a couple of times, there glistens the ever important reminder that progress involves taking risks large and small.

Lofty leaps. Slight tweaks. It is this cumulative process of both bold and subtle risks (foibles and failures included) that underpins progress. No risk, no progress!

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