This group’s aim is to share ceramics with members of the community who might not be exposed otherwise by anonymously and randomly placing ceramic items around Missoula. After making pieces such as mugs, plates, and bowls, they will attach an uplifting message, joke, eco-friendly facts, or a quote to make the random recipient to ponder and smile. Locations that may be subject to be littered with their works are bus stops, bike paths, the courthouse, benches, the library, hiking trails, parks, etc.
An interesting thought about this project is the action of separation. Often times potters gain a connection and attachment to their work, due to the many hours spent making it. What these ladies are doing is breaking that bond and leaving their work in the open with an unknown future for others to relish and hopefully appreciate.
Kalithin Kenny – Class Presentation PDF
Ashley Block – Class Presentation PDF
Jami Denton – Class Presentation PDF
“My process took a lot longer than expected. I dedicated a lot more time than planned, and explored using black slip inlay, which was a big learning process. I look forward to handing out my mugs though, and imagine who is going to get them. I just want to put a smile on their face.”
Interview: Kaitlin Kenney
Q: What was the purpose of your project?
A: I did random acts too but a little different so I wanted to hand them out to people who looked like they were smiling. You walk past someone and they have a large grin and you don’t know why, but it makes you smile. I etched little quotes into the mug. Like, breathe, go slow and smile. I put a black slip on them but then my glazing sucked which ruined them. Maybe four of them came out so you can read the quotes. I guess it was good learning. Most of them didn’t turn out. I wish I had put much more thought into handing them out. I handed them out very randomly.
Q: So you were walking down the street and handed them out?
A: No, I didn’t end up doing it like that. I ended up handing them out to the people running the Big Brother and Big Sister, and gave them each one. I still have a few to give out.
Q: Would you do it again?
A: I would like to do it again but plan it out a little more. Write something in them, and give them little teabags. It was fun and it was a good learning experience about glazes.
Interview: Ashley Block
Q: What was the purpose of your project?
A: I just wanted to learn how to get the attachment factor and also not care what happens to the pottery. I left my email and our website address in the cups. I got an email so far. The one email I did get was an little old lady. She found it but she didn’t understood why someone would do that and she made her daughter write to me and say how awesome it was that someone would do something nice in this day and age. It was so sweet.
Q: How do you prepare the cups?
A: I wrapped the cups in cellophane. And I wrapped it like a gift. And put a note on there. I handwrote all the notes. I didn’t want to type up a note with a handmade mug. It didn’t make sense to me.
Q: What did the email they say?
A: I’ll read it to you. “So Ashley let me introduce myself. My name is—— and I am the daughter of —— who found your mug. She asked me to write to you. She lives with me in my home. She is 80 years old and she has short term memory. She takes care of my grandchildren and walks them to the bus every day, snow or sunshine. She brought your mug home and asked me to read the note to her. She is very capable of reading. She just didn’t understand. She has seen a lot in her lifetime, very sad as well as very joyous. She could not believe in this day in time, someone would take the time to do an act of kindness. She has given many in 80 years so was, again very excited to see kindness was still out there. I can’t tell you how much it means to a person, no matter how small or big, can bring joy and happiness that will return to you tenfold. The mug is beautiful and just the size she loves. Merry Christmas.”
Q: Do you think you’ll do it again?
A: I’d like to. I liked how it was really fun. I did it with my husband and he drove me around. I had my box of mugs in the back of the car. I’d grab one, wherever we ended up. It took forever to decide where to leave them. It was really exciting.
Q: How did you decide where to leave them?
A: Where it was crowded, or places where I go. I thought about where I’d be if was walking. I was thinking who would get it, and who I wanted to get it. I wanted it to be a shocking half surprise, “Oh, hey. This is cool.”
Interview: Jami Denton
Q: What was the point of your project?
A: I guess I look for things when I’m walking all the time, and it’s just like fi I see something I have to go figure out what it is. I kinda wanted that. Like, “Is this for me? Should I take it? Is it for someone else?” The whole idea was interesting to me, how different people react. So I didn’t leave a note. I only left the web address to add that atmosphere of mystery. “Am I gonna check this out?” And so I guess that implied it was for someone else. I also left tea to signify use, that they meant to use it. Sometimes it was so busy I thought I was gonna get caught leaving it there. I kept thinking someone would say, “Miss you forgot your cup!”
Q: Was it hard to leave them behind?
A: No, it really wasn’t. I was excited. I had a project in art school where I wasn’t going to be left with this object in my life. I got experience making it but didn’t have to keep it. And also making something, giving it away and not knowing what happens to it, was very exciting.