Artist’s Statement

Owner and artist of Crackin’ Crow Pottery Lolo Robison at Soup Spoon Cafe in Lansing, Mich.

I am inspired by my mother’s passion for pottery-making. It was she, after all, who suggested I learn to throw when I realized – time after time, over the course of many years of visits to Denver – that there were never any of her wheel-thrown pots left for me, save those she’d intended to discard.

“Why don’t you learn to make pots?” she asked me when I visited during the summer of 2014.

At first I thought she was pulling my leg, but I quickly came to understand that she wanted me to share her joy of clay play.

The lesson of the age-old fish proverb applies just as well to pottery.

“Learn how to make pots, and you can make them for the rest of your life,” she promised.

In the fall of 2014, I began taking classes at the Greater Lansing Potters’ Guild in Haslett, Mich., and thus began my journey and love affair with clay. My mantra from Day 1 was, “It’s perfectly acceptable to suck at this and learn something new.”

Indeed, my mother warned me that pottery would be challenging. “Don’t give up,” she said. “Don’t get discouraged.”

And something about the ooey, gooey characteristic of clay and the mesmerizing rotation of the wheel caught me hook, line and sinker. I’m a self-professed clay addict. It is my drug; my jam, man.

So, why do I make clay pots and clay things? Two reasons:

1. It connects me to my mother. I love that she and I share many common interests: culinary arts, sewing, knitting and now pottery. I didn’t always appreciate her. We didn’t always get along. There were times when I first left home when I would wake up crying from a dream in which she’d berated me. These dreams were based on the conflict that I always felt existed between us, because I was a shitty daughter when I was a teenager. I was a shitty daughter when I was a young adult in my twenties. We now get each other on a whole new level, and pottery binds us beyond the parent-child relationship. It allowed us to become good friends, sharing the magic of clay that no one else in the family could. 

2. Others’ joy. I gave one of my first pots to Maribeth Jenks, a friend from roller derby. It was a throwaway piece, glazed in Jef’s Red over Yellow Matte. She exclaimed that the colors were a perfect complement to her home’s décor, so I gifted it to her. I was almost moved to tears when she told me her family of five took turns each day using the “special bowl” for meals; that everyone looked forward to their turn.

I’ve learned that the work we create as potters can be meaningful to others. A bowl can play a central role in everyday human activities, such as an evening meal or a holiday feast. A sculpture can be a work of art; an heirloom that is passed on from generation to generation. Our work can evoke a wide range of emotions and feelings unique to those who behold or interact with that which we make. That my hands have the ability to transform a lump of clay into treasured pieces of art and ware that bring joy and fulfilment to those who receive them is inexplicably powerful. Clay is my super power, yet it humbles me.

Mission

My mission is to conceptualize and create by hand premium-quality pots and sculptures that make your home life a little more fulfilling.

Vision

I aspire to share my passion for ceramic arts with the citizens of the Greater Lansing and tri-county regions, and beyond.

Values

• Quality craftsmanship
• Affordability
• Sustainable practices
• Professional integrity
• Community contributor
• Artist focused


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