Google Oracle meets the pottery Void


katara amphitheater sculpture of a man throwing a large sphere

The remarkable Katara Amphitheater statue in Qatar (Photo – Duncan Davidson)


Tao synchronicity in the search


I was totally devoid of any ideas about what to blog on next (bloggers block), so rather than prolong my desktop transfixation with nothingness any longer, I asked for suggestions from an acquaintance who had just dropped by. His casual response was ….. ” how about solar kilns ” followed by “must avoid the devoid “, delivered in a robotic monotone. The first one didn’t grab my attention but the other remark had lightglobes popping (which isn’t really an appropriate metaphor any more now that ” green ” globes warm up slowly). The mention of void twice made me think –  what would Google Image find if I asked it to look in the Void for pottery images? As the Void concept was popular with Taoists I presented  the Taoist statement ” No man is poor except the one without Knowledge” and ” Pottery ” to the ” Google Oracle “.  Expecting the response to be  – Your search – did not match any image results – I was instead confronted with a whole page of images, some pertinent to the subject at hand. Here is what came up :


Ancient Se player, sculpture from the Han dynasty

‘Se player’, Han dynasty – 206 B.C.–220 A.D.  ( Met, NY )


Bat Trang Ceramic village, Vietnam ottery teacher and student

Bat Trang Ceramic village, Vietnam



Raven Watch dish from One Clay Bead

‘Raven Watch’ – One Clay Bead ( etsy )

via.thought patterns – Tina Tarnoff




One Clay Bead


Tang Dynasty seated musician

‘Seated Musician’, Tang dynasty (618–906)

Marble Statue  ( Met NY )



Ceramic-belt plaque from the Tag Dynasty

 ‘Belt plaque’, Tang dynasty (618–906)

( Met NY )


Australian aboriginal with sacred concentric circles motif on the red earth

Australian Aborigine — Contemplating the void




Janet Mansfield “tea bowl “

Happy Hour pottery street sign

vase display for Bulldog Pottery

Bulldog Pottery vases. NC




Mengei pottery dish

Japanese Mingei pottery plate


This image came from  Quotes and Musings Blogspot where Beth Cioffoletti  remarked :


Mingei pottery reminds me of contemplativeness. Emptiness and the slow, easy turning toward simplicity and the ordinary.

The right in front of me. Standing still. Taking the time to look, see, be filled.

Below are some quotes about Mingei potter, Kanjiro Kawai (1890-1966)

In the wake of the great tide of industrialism in the early part of this century, something of the human touch and spirit was lost in everyday articles of use. Several Japanese potters sought to counteract the desire for cheap, mass-produced products by pointing to the works of ordinary craftsmen that spoke to the spiritual and practical needs of life.

“When you become so absorbed in your work that beauty flows naturally then your work truly becomes a work of art,” he wrote in an essay titled “We Do Not Work Alone.” He continued, “Everything that is, is not. Everything is, yet at the same time, nothing is. I myself am the emptiest of all.” 

In a Western sense this would most likely be perceived as a negative and pitiful comment, but in the East it is often the emptiness and the silence that are most important. Only when something is empty can it be filled. Kawai filled his spirit and works with tariki. The somewhat eccentric Kawai was an extraordinary being, like an elf working alone late into the night; many of his pieces are full of a beauty and mystery that one can only describe as otherworldliness.   (Googoracle was on the right track )



Kanjiro Kawai ceramic vessel

Kanjiro Kawai


Ceramic frying pan from Mexico with deer motifs

Mexican Ceramic Frying Pan




Michael Kline – NC


Dargle Valley pottery - terracotta pot under a tree

Dargle Valley pottery


 Red Column and Black Dome by David Nash - outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire sculpture park

 Red Column and Black Dome by David Nash

Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Pakistani artist Maulvi Omar making vessels

Maulvi Omar from the suburbs of Lahore.

He has been practicing the art of clay work for the last 40 years  and has experimented and excelled in different types of pottery including chalk handicraft, stone crafts and earthenware.



Maulvi Omar

The motif looks portal voidish.



The spoils from an opp-shop – (  littleowlski.wordpress )




mugs-mid-century dots

Four footed Mid-Century mugs with Zenish minimalism




mayan-jade-carved with warrior motif

Jadeite Pectoral from the Mayan Classic period




Mexican-Pottery-vintage with animal decorations

Vintage Mexican pots


ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery

The ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery – Ireland

An awesome tower! ( benedante.blogspot )




Japara – the moon man, earthenware, underglaze

Mark Virgil Puautjimi, Tiwi Design, 2006  ( Australia )


Haikun-Ekaka-Zen Master painting

Haikun Ekaka, 1685-1768, was a Japanese Zen master, author of the famous koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping “.  He did not begin to paint until he was in his 60s, but by the time he died he relied more on images to convey his teachings than words. Curiously, I considered dropping this quote into the search.


Ryota Aoki studio potter

Mr.Aoki”s studio

From an interview with Ryota Aoki at PingMag

”  since about two years ago, I’ve been getting inspiration from the clay. I don’t want people to think I’ve cracked up, (laughs) but it’s true. When I touch the clay, I’ve noticed that I feel “Ah, I should do what the clay wants me to do.” I put it on the wheel and let it throw me around, I let it move me. It’s like I’m helping the materials become what they want to be. Just like Japanese cuisine where you help the ingredients themselves to shine. ”  ( abandoning the notion of doership )


Ryota Aoki - white porcelain bowl

Simple yet organic lines  – Ryota Aoki





White porcelain cups – Ryota Aoki



Four Vases - Catherine Gray

Vases – Catherine Gray


ceramic "hood' ern vesselby Mark Hewitt

” Hood ” – Mark Hewitt

( via Omsablog )

the following writings came up on this blog  ( the Googoracle poignant here )

Pots are made out of clay

But the hollow space in them makes the essence of the pot

And the essence comes from an intangible something

In the spirit of the potter

Which he is able to blend

into all his knowledge of throwing, the glazing and the firing

So that every piece from his hand

is as much his own signature and his heartbeat

Only then will the pot be good, that is alive

And the more highly developed a potter is as a human being,

the better his pot

For there is no real beauty without character.

~ Lao Tzu

6th Century



Mark Hewitt Bulb vesselJack-Troy ceramic vessel

Jack Troy, Bulldog Pottery




Museum of Islamic Art arterium sculpture

Voidish atrium ceiling

A sculpture from the Museum of Islamic Art, which sits on its own man made island built by the Emir just off Al Corniche in Doha.



Ceramic dress by Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi

Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi



Sacred Irish stone with carved spirals

Newgrange ,  Ireland -3100 and 2900 BC

An Ancient Temple of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance.




Gem Chang-Kue-raku-vessel

Gem Chang-Kue



Bellarmine_jug witch vessel

This witch bottle ( 1650 ) is a very old spell device, usually a salt glazed vessel.. Its purpose is to draw in and trap any harmful intentions directed at its owner.



Iznik Pottery from Turkey - bowl and plate with floral decoration

Iznik Pottery from Turkey



loanhead of daviot Stone Circle in Aberdeenshire

Stone Circle in Aberdeenshire

Constructed sometime around 2500 B.C., Loanhead of Daviot ( Scotland ) is a recumbent stone circle comprised of a large recumbent stone and two stones flanking the recumbent stone, and eight other stones in a circle.



Mark-Messersmith-maximunist-naturalist They Fight, They Fail (Six Hours of a Long Day)

‘They Fight, They Fail  (Six Hours of a Long Day)’ –  Mark-Messersmith

Maximunist Naturalist exhibition at  Ogden Museum



Mata Ortiz pottery bird

Mata Ortiz


Mayan carved ceramic symbols

The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish burned all available Mayan books, thereby suppressing nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology’s fiercest challenges.


large wood fired pot-Michael Miller

Large wood fired Vessel – Michael Miller


Mayan-tripod lidded vessel

Copan Carved Vessel

Archaeologists uncovered this ceramic journey vessel from the tomb of the founder of the Copan dynasty, “Radiant First Quetzal Macaw.”

MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibition – Penn Museum



4 Faces Picasso Ceramic plate

4 Faces – Picasso Ceramic

( Leicester Museum and Galleries )

George Ohr folded ceramic vessel

George E. Ohr folded vase, USA



Bruce Gholson ceramic vessel

‘Daffie Days’ – Bruce Gholson, NC




Gesture Study, 1938, ink on paperOgden Museum of Southern Art Jesselyn Zurik

‘Gesture Study’, 1938, ink on paper, Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Jesselyn Zurik, New Orleans



Kurt Weiser lidded jar


Kurt Weiser lidded jar




Empty your cup :

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.

The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.

“It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted.

“You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”




Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.