It’s so great when things come together almost magically, like bowls and scrolls and wax and fiber!
Today I’m able to announce that my new Painting with Fire Encaustic workshop will be called The Diaphanous Vessel: Exploring Paper, Fiber, Plaster, and Wax. This class reflects the excitement that I’m having inventing ways to create translucent, delicate but strong vessels.
Vessels are not new to me, but I’ve always thought of them as clay forms. What a revelation to realize that paper and fiber can fuse together to create these organic forms that are surrounded by space inside and outside. Translucent beeswax binds these shapes together and fiber strengthens them.
And of course, if you sign up for Painting with Fire for this coming year, you’ll learn how to make these for yourself. You’ll also have 53 other great workshops from the best encaustic teachers ever.
My summer class at SW/UTSA will also be about building vessel – there are just so many possibilities, and so many metaphors relating to bowls and receptacles. Stay tuned for that class info if you are here in San Antonio – the summer catalog is almost ready to come out.
Vessels, be they bowls, cups, or urns, embody a metaphorical richness that transcends their utilitarian function. They symbolize receptivity, gracefully accepting the contents poured into them. Conversely, they epitomize generosity, as vessels pour forth their contents, offering sustenance or wisdom to others. They speak to the human condition, serving as vessels not only of physical substance but also of emotion, culture, and spirituality.
I love this excerpt from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, The Bowl:
A day, if a day could feel, must feel like a bowl.
Wars, loves, trucks, betrayals, kindness,
it eats them.
Then the next day comes, spotless and hungry.
The bowl cannot be thrown away.
It cannot be broken.
It is calm, uneclipsable, rindless,
and, big though it seems, fits exactly in two human hands.
Bowls both give and receive – vessels both hold space and occupy space. I hope to see you in Painting with Fire this year so we can continue this conversation!