In talking to a regular Anderson Ranch student - a favorite of mine, Carol, I discovered something special about her take-away from the course. After talking about a few new favorite discovered glazes, the most important thing that Carol took away from the class and admired most was the way that Suze and Kent interacted with one another. She said that more than technical information, she took valuable life lessons about how we relate to one another. In that moment, I agreed. I said you're right, Carol. Isn't what all of this is about? It's not just about making pots or working with clay for that matter. It is about something greater. We do what we do for something else. That's when I said, "You know, everything that we do is more than what it is."
When an instructor brings an 88 year old student a cup of tea. When a fellow classmate picks up your lunch plate. When a fellow intern grabs the other handle of the trash can as his teammate is picking it up to load it into the Mule. When a studio coordinator adds an extra level of organization to the studio by laying the glaze tests out in a grid by clay body and firing type for the students. When an Artistic Director of 32 years is still hosing out the studio with his interns. These are the things that make a difference. Every little detail. Everything we do from squeeging the floor to grinding a kiln shelf goes into something greater. Each are necessary to get the perfect lid on the perfect pot. The pot is the object that ultimately forms a relationship with an individual. Yet the pot is only a remnant of what is the most important - the relationship. The relationships that we make are the entire reason that we are even on this planet.
I am describing the relationships that are formed through clay because that is my story. But each of us have our own. The plumber. The lawn tender. The chef. The janitor. The nurse. Each field does what they do all for people. The relationships that we form with people through what we do are why we are here. Everything that we do is way more than what that thing is.
Come join the Ranch as it celebrates its 50th Year Anniversary this summer!
For more information see www.andersonranch.org