Jim Lux - Agreements
By the time finish making a pot, sickness I’ve put quite a bit of time into the process and had a variety of thoughts while building, painting, and firing it. Sometimes I work in silence. Sometimes I like to listen to books on my phone. The words and the process of creation merge and everything else disappears. At the same time, and not in contradiction, everything is present, solid, right, true, and peaceful.
While working on this group of pots over the past several months, I listened a few more times to one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.. The book speaks of the agreements that we make with each other and with ourselves. We agree to stories about our culture and our spirituality and our sense of self and our sense of others. The ideas and stories to which we agree, sometimes without questioning, become part of our belief system and part of our story. I’m the main character in my story and you are the center of your story. I am responsible for what I say and you are responsible for what you understand. The two may not always be the same.
I think about the relationship and the agreements between myself as a potter and you as the viewer of my pots. The variety of thoughts and associations that I link to a particular pot are part of my story: why am I pleased with a particular curve in the pot’s foot, the shape of the pot’s belly, or the finish of the mouth or the color combinations on the surface? What you see might overlap with my story and intentions, or you may create a different mini-story for yourself.
Over the past few years, I’ve been shifting agreements with myself to favor joy over fear-based emotions. When I’m in my studio, I can effortlessly honor these new agreements, allowing positive emotions to flow. I’m happy when I’m making pots. I hope my joy and peacefulness come through and fill my pots. In my story, that hope is realized every now and then.
The titles of the pots in this show are agreements I try to keep with myself.