Today my daughter Kate treated me to a Netflix binge-watching of LUKE CAGE, and a theater viewing of the new Star Wars movie ROGUE ONE. She also brewed me some coffee and took this picture of me with my coffee cup:
When I say “my coffee cup,” it is and isn’t. I made the cup a little more than 16 years ago. It is signed and dated on the bottom, thus:
Though it’s dated October 9, 2000, the signature and date were done when the ware was in the greenware stage. It was then bisque fired, glazed, and glaze fired. I would guess the finished product came out of one of the gas kilns at Phoenix College right around the end of October, 2000.
The cup is ungainly and otherwise imperfect, especially its handle, but it feels friendly to the grip and its lip meets mine warmly. But when I say it is and IS NOT mine, that’s to say that the cup resides with Joni, my ex-wife, and Kate, our daughter and Joni’s co-tenant. When Joni and I declared divorce, which was finalized five years and two days ago, I left and the cup stayed. It is only when I come around to the place I lived for more than 22 years that I get to see and interact with this cup.
But I do have full visitation rights, and bragging rights: This is Exhibit A to establish that I can make a coffee cup with my bare hands, with or without the use of a potter’s wheel. (One of my coil-built cups would be Exhibit B.) I fully intend to make more cups in 2017, which would end a more than two years’ hiatus. I miss being One With Ware.