Hands in Clay, Heart in Community: Cactus & Clay Ceramics

When I look at a piece of hand-shaped pottery by Pacific Northwest-based artist Beth Gordon of Cactus and Clay Ceramics, I see the shapes of the earth reflected in simplicity. Like the topography of natural wonders in places like Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, the lines of Gordon’s pottery are ageless. Blues that reflect a spring riverbed, browns as soft as a field in fall, and grays that were possibly swatched directly from the rounded stones that line Washington’s beaches–her art is colored with all of the hues of the natural world. 

After two and a half years of pandemic-fueled stress, getting an intimate view of Beth’s work and what it means to her felt a little bit like shaping the clay myself. I was inspired by the meditative process she uses to bring her tranquil creations to life and how she’s using her art to connect to both her deepest inner being and the community around her.

How do you think creativity can impact the world?

I truly believe that creativity is the defining characteristic of humanity. Exploring this part of ourselves through any kind of expression–whether it’s writing, making music, creating ceramics, dancing, or painting–is a vital form of self-care. Making time to tap into creativity is necessary for good mental health and can be such a powerful tool to connect with others. When we are taking care of ourselves and the people around us in this way, there will always be a positive impact. If you have healthy roots, you will have healthy fruit...

Read on in I, Enheduanna Issue 3: In Our Hands, available here.

This article can be found in I, Enheduanna "Issue 3: In Our Hands"

In Our Hands features thirteen articles with work by seventeen feminine and non-binary creatives ranging in medium from prose to photography, poetry to pottery. In Our Hands centers around the way we create and share our creations through the sensation of touch, exploring the creative practices of each artist through in-depth interviews. Issue 3 is […]

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