My youngest recently moved back to the states and rented an apartment above a sandwich shop in Brooklyn. She’d say it is cozy. I’d say it is small. Really, really small.
My wife and I helped her shoehorn a few pieces of furniture into the place. Then I asked if she wanted me to make a set of dinnerware for her, as I had done for her siblings.
“Well, Dad,” she said, “I don’t have room for plates and cups and all that stuff. What I need is a bowl.”
“Just a bowl? One bowl!”
So I made her a bowl. One bowl. I carved leaves around the border and fired it with a Shino glaze that changes color from green to brown to gray, depending on the light. I have to say, it is a special bowl.
The bowl moved to Brooklyn with my daughter. It decorates an open shelf in her kitchen/living space where it is usually filled with fruit or vegetables. At meal time, the bowl gets to work serving up salad or pasta. Then it moves back to the shelf where it holds the next day’s produce and, hopefully, warm thoughts of home.
When space or time or finances are limited, we tend to think that there is no room for beautiful things (Think Soviet Block concrete apartments). I believe that it is especially in those situations that we must have something beautiful to expand our days and fill our hearts. As Dunja Von Stoddard, a textile designer and ceramicist recently told Remodelista, “…life is too short to be surrounded by ugly.”