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Terry Griffin - The Empty Vessel - The space within exhibition


"Clay is the most marvellous material.  It can be moulded into any shape and any size.  It can be creative and functional, often both".


Terry has been working with clay for most of her life.  She works in all sorts of creative media but it is with clay that the deepest, most intuitive work is made.

Over time she has inclined towards using unglazed clay with, maybe, a little oxide.


The Empty Vessel


"Shape clay into vessel;

it is the space within which makes it useful."    Tao Te Ching


"Thumb pots are probably the most basic vessel.  They have been made since man first needed to contain something and found that moulding a piece of mud did the job.  Infants make them at play school, while in Japan they have become a highly treasured art form used in the tea ceremony.


Each pot is, by nature of its creation, unique and personal.

There is something essential about taking a small ball of clay and pushing your thumb in; feeling your way into the clay, rotating it in your hand, to form a pot.

For Terry, it is almost a form of meditation.


Terry has used three very fine stoneware clays to make these "empty vessels"

Terry Griffin - A Song for Violet - the space within exhibition


Terry finds it difficult to say where these ideas have come from.  There are strong influences from the curraghs that she loves to see on the west coast of Ireland.  They bob and dance on the surface of the sea because they are so light.  The lightness of their wooden frames and tarred canvas body makes them extremely manoeuvrable; a necessity amongst the jagged rocks on the edge of the Atlantic.  Although they need regular maintenance, their elegance and fragility has endured for centuries because of their suitability for purpose.


"These pots are dedicated to my sister, Violet, who loved to sing".

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