The Rockingham County Gazette, Derry Edition – Vol 6, No 12 – March 19, 1980
“Stephen Goss said he likes to step in mud. But he wouldn’t touch it with his hands. He would like to end the mud season with minimal fanfare.”
Oh, how things have changed.
I make wheel-thrown and hand-built functional pottery with the emphasis on the tactile and the intention of contemplation, while exploring the Japanese aesthetics of wabi-sabi, mono no aware, and shibusa.
The objects made by my hands should feel right in yours, unique vessels from which to eat and drink while pondering life, the universe, and everything. Or simply enjoy a nice hot cup of tea.
Wabi, sabi, and mono no aware are terms derived from Zen Buddhist philosophy that celebrates the beauty in flaws and decay, the acceptance of transience and aging, and recognizes the bittersweet joy of a fleeting moment… “it’s basically about being both saddened and appreciative of transience”, “a sensitivity to ephemera”, if you will.
As one author concisely wrote, this way of being “nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.” (i.e. everything is impermanent, incomplete, and imperfect.) Another described it as “If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.”
Shibusa is a similar aesthetic developed by Dr. Soetsu Yanagi which involves these seven elements: simplicity, implicity, modesty, naturalness, everydayness, imperfection, and silence. It “has come to denote those things that exhibit in paradox and all at once the very best of everything and nothing: Elegant simplicity. Effortless effectiveness. Understated excellence. Beautiful imperfection” and could be summized as “beauty with inner implications”.
This is my inspiration, motivation, and raison d’être as I continue to learn, create, and evolve.
Thank you and enjoy!
– Stephen Edward Goss of GossCræft Pottery