When is a book a pot?
So with The Children's Book wedged firmly in my mind's eye, stuck there good and proper as I browsed in the Craft Gallery in town this week, there it was.
A little Raku pot just 4" x 3" but in the colour, and it whispered those immortal words of purchase to me as I gazed.
It needed a home and yes, after a quick assessment, I was up for it.
Of course I don't strictly need a little Raku pot, but as you know I have a well-attuned addiction to this colour which is a worry because I'll buy anything if it's in that range, even show me a turquoise horse galloping round a field and I'd put in an offer and be organizing a matching stable block in the garden.
So this pot is now grazing quietly on my desk looking perfectly lovely gorgeous and will be a permanent reminder me of that reading experience.
Things could have been much worse.
I can argue that this is a prudent compromise given that I could have been on the lookout for the Rene Lalique brooch on the cover of the book but now won't bother.
I didn't know much about Raku but I do now.
This pot, made by Cornish potter Ben McManigan, was by all accounts rapidly fired to 1060 deg C and whilst red hot was placed in sawdust where it was then allowed to burn.
The pot was then rapidly cooled by spraying water on it, then cleaned with warm water and allowed to dry naturally which creates particular colours and textures depending on the chemical components of the hand made glaze.
In the words of A.S.Byatt's master potter, Benedict Fludd,
' We are chemists - we must know metals and ores, temperatures and binding elements, weights and measures...we are like alchemists of old - we employ fire, smoke, crucibles...to make our vessels...those containers necessary for daily functions, food and drink - which can be lovely, however plain, graceful, however simple...'
Oh yes, sometimes a book is a whole lot more than just a book.