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A Potter's Place

Ceramics and film photography have a lot of similarities.

With a rampant virus and all, it had been a while since I’d seen or talked with my old friend Peter (Cephas Pottery). His new ceramics workshop is nestled just outside the city with a beautiful mountain backdrop. It was so nice to talk in person about our projects, ideas, and future plans.

We compared firing pottery in a kiln to home developing film, and the sometimes unpredictable and delightful nature of them both. How they each require a chemical reaction to be "born" and to create specific effects. How time alone at the pottery wheel is like time alone looking through a camera viewfinder; time often spent in deep, calculating thought. How the mineral make-ups of clays react differently to the fire, just as varying film emulsions and speeds react to light and developers.

We talked about the ongoing and devastating situation in Ukraine, our family lives, and about mushroom hunting. How the mountain behind his workshop is a safe place to escape, to sweat, to expel emotional energy, and to sort out the mind. The safe place provided by the green conifers, dewy grass, and plentiful fungi.

And although I may never get into throwing pots, and Peter may never shoot film, we still have a lot of common ground. And that feels good. Thanks Peter. I'm looking forward to mushroom hunting with you soon.

You can follow Peter on Instagram @CephasPottery and buy his work here.

All images were shot on a single roll of Ilford HP5+ with a Mamiya C220, and then home developed in my lovely bathroom in Portland, Oregon

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