|Irate? This plate will likely get broken first.|
A person cannot live by clouds alone. To balance my diet of cirrus, cumulus, and stratus this past fall, I signed up for a pottery class. For many years I had wanted to get back to throwing pots on the wheel, but decided to try some hand building. Some twenty years ago, I visited artist Joan Gardiner at her studio in Virginia, not far from where I was living. She showed me a commissioned project she had just completed--a set of eight dessert plates, each representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each plate had the name of the sin and beautiful artwork to symbolize them. Her idea was that while "we were consuming the dessert, the sins were consuming us." I loved idea...and the fact that the eighth plate was Grace.
I didn't need any dessert plates (especially ones that were relatively pricey), but I coveted them with all my heart.
Last fall, I decided to try my hand and making a set. I could not recall what artwork Joan had painted or incised on her plates--and just as well as I would qualify as "Pre-K" in the free-hand drawing department. So I decided to use letter stamps to spell out the sins in English and Latin and to use glazes of different colors to match the spirit of the sin. The plates were my wedding present to one of my brothers and his new wife--who are good people, fabulous cooks, and Catholics who know how to enjoy their favorite sins.
There are, FYI, a few classes of sins according to the Catholic church. There are venial sins (ones that do not forfeit a state of grace) and mortal sins (ones that do and require confession and absolution). It is 13th-century Italian theologian and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, we have to thank for the information on the deadly ones--considered deadly because of their great potential for causing other sins.
So here they are---all but GLUTTONY. Unintentionally, I put too much glaze on that plate and when it came out of the kiln all the letters had filled in. They are what you might call "rustic," but nothing a good slice of bourbon-pecan pie or a slab of apple pie a la mode
won't cover up.
|This was supposed to be "passionate" purple and red with a voluptuous figure. Now it looks kind of like a tree trunk at dusk. Easy to resist this sin, unless you are a druid.|
|I wish we would evolve to the point where we can just be, and not have to be proud of it--whether it is gay, American, black, Union, honor student, Olympic athlete. Aquinas considered this the #1 of the 7 (P.S.: I am, I hate to admit, most proud of this plate--the triple glaze turned out better than I expected).|
|A seemingly harmless sin, but like the other Deadly six, one that supposedly leads to worse sins.|
|Envy--the green-eyed monster. This would look great with cheesecake. |
|This glaze was supposed to be metallic black and represent a "black hole" of endless wants and desires. The way I did the glaze here makes this sin kind of look like a virtue. Fun! |
|The plate for the virtuous--there is one in every crowd. |