The Earth We Are Made Of

“Unlike other works of art, they (pots) do not attempt to re-create something in another medium: pigment on canvas creating a language of line and color that stands for shade, space, and light; marble standing for flesh.

They are the earth they are made of.  They are its colors – the colors of fields, swamps and riverbeds.  Their common materials are mediated only by fire, and on many of them fire has painted the only decoration, cloudy green black shadings and inspired black brushstrokes sparse as those of Japanese masters.

The fire is not the controlled one of a kiln, but the same open-air one where the cooking pots bubble.  they are shaped not on a wheel but by hands; their surface texture has the faint striations of human skin.  When you put your hand against my pots you are palm to palm with the artist.”

Nadine Gordimer from African Earth