The Flames That Define Us

Adrienne Quintana


Who isn’t mesmerized by the dancing flames of a campfire?  Outside, under the stars, breathing crisp air, crackling wood, the mind sharpens and opens itself to pondering the expansive universe.


Last weekend in Colorado, the campfire’s usual duties expanded from warming hands and feet and toasting marshmallows to something much more artistic and existential.  Over the years, I have admired and appreciated my mother-in-law, Moe’s skill: throwing, glazing, and firing a variety of beautiful pottery.  Though most of her pots are fired in either electric or gas kilns in a studio, the unique pieces produced at primitive or pit firings have always intrigued me.


You can imagine my delight when she brought out several boxes of pottery one morning.  Carefully unwrapping the vessels, we checked the bottom of each piece where she inscribes a short dated journal entry.  Some of the pieces had been thrown and bisqued as long as ten years…

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