Patterns

I knew when I saw the first green chewy-looking ceramic-glaze dendrites, that some magic was afoot.

Seeing melted sea mud look like sea weed boggled my mind. My heart and lungs and brain were branching like river deltas and tree roots - magma channels I can't see were becoming imaginable as I saw melted sediment glaze emerge from the kiln - it flowed down with gravity and rose up with crystallization.

Nature was releasing order in one more wonder-full way.

Many, not all sediments make dendritic patterns. No Pacific samples I’ve tried branch - they are smooth browns. Sediments containing foraminifera usually make the river-like patterns. I fire slowly at high temperatures, hoping to help many well developed rivulets form in the glazes.

I never tire of watching people's faces light up with questions after they realize that I apply sediments evenly - and that patterns form in molten sediments. What appears when I open the kiln is always a surprise.

Many thanks to writer Nancy Todd who helped me understand ecological consciousness as a form of communication with what Gregory Bateson caIled "larger mind" or "the pattern that connects". Read her writing about me in a “Resurgence” article.