Joe Bruhin's Fox Mountain Pottery

My Mark

Winter 2002, I had two visions within a week that had a profound effect on me. I will not try to express in words, here, how these experiences made me feel for I find it to be ineffable. The one I would like to mention is about a cave. I found myself in a damp, pungent, mysterious darkness, with a labyrinth quality. Bewildered, but not fearful, groping in the darkness, I sensed an auspiciousness. Careful with my steps, so not to lose my footing, with hands reaching and touching many surfaces; sensuous, ultimate smooth to jagged and pleasingly coarse. What was this place that felt so womb like? Finally, I saw a glimmer of light... then more... looking like sunbeams, burning through a morning fog in a virgin forest. It was a wonderful light, that manifested in me a peacefulness with joy. The rays of light became clearer and brighter, evolving into one intense white light but at the same time, soft and most calming. I remember struggling with my work for weeks before this experience. I have heard and believe that if one continues and yearns with sincerity through dry times, that inspiration will come. For me, inspiration manifested from this vision and is imbued into my work, and a kiln named “Cave Light” was born to deliver my efforts for beauty. There are many metaphors one can conjure and contemplate about a cave, for me exploration, rebirth and indweller come to play. The form I feel and see in my mind of this vision has become my mark or signature on my work. The rims of my vessels were transformed and inspired by the craggy opening of the space I was in. I also make the lugs on my jars with this cave form, and when placed, I do so with the above experience fresh in my mind.

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