Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clay for Beer

Haven't been able to warm my bones since the freezing temperatures from last weekend. In an effort to conserve, I have the temperature set at 55 degrees, and the drafty old farmhouse is trying to kill me with hypothermia. As I finish up the business plan for Brewery Hall, and review a potential client's information, my thoughts turned to beer mugs. I have been meaning to spend some time researching locally made mugs for our "mug club" at the brewery. After a bit of googling and seeing some just OK stuff, I happened upon Hatchville Pottery in Falmouth, Massachusetts and stopped. I used to play in the mud back when I attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, in fact in the long buried old ceramics studio there I had my first Anchor Steam Beer in about 1983. I walked in for class in the first week, and this cheery guy smiles and asks if I want a beer. I knew then I had picked the right school, but more importantly, that beer helped me along to my ultimate calling; craft brewing. I loved pottery, and as the renovated Asian wing at the MFA opened when I was in school, I was exposed to Japanese ceramics and glazes. That's what I find appealing about Hollis Engley's style; he works deftly within the ideals of this particular discipline. Organic, natural, relaxed forms and glazes. Very zen, and hard for the non-appreciating public to understand at times. But the pots look like they were born of the earth; they are earth after all, and the human hand and mind must be sympathetic and bound to this to succeed. What may look a bit "sloppy" to the unaware, is in fact the potter's connection to a deeper force; to let go of the desire to throw a precise, clean and accurate pot (although that requires skill as well), and allow that tantalizing chaos seep in and capture the essence of clay. Never mind the alchemy of glazing! I would love to drink beer from such a pot, and I am sure I will.

1 comment:

Hollis Engley said...

For some reason, I completely missed your comments on the "tankards" that were posted on my blog a few weeks ago. Very kind of you. And also the comments on your own blog. Love the black and white image, too.
So if you want to talk about some kind of tankard deal, get back in touch. E-mail at hatchvillepottery@comcast.net.