I sat down with Dawn Raburn, of Adamah Pottery, recently to have a little chat about her pottery, life, and inspiration. Visiting her home gives me a glimpse of what I hope to create for my own home one day. Pulling into her driveway, chickens were roaming her yard, enjoying the sun, and looking for food. Her garden was in the beginning stages of spring. Two students were chatting softly, busy at work throwing their own creations. Sitting down on old, charming stools, she began by offering me a hot cup of tea.
Dawn is truly an inspiring person. Everyone who knows her loves her. She is encouraging and passionate and honest. All of which translate into her work, a true reflection of her day to day life.
Here is a little bit of our chat:
First, how would you describe yourself?
Someone who is back to the basics….I love growing and making things.
What does handmade mean to you? Why is it important to you?
For me, it is really starting from the basic elements…mixing glazes from scratch, making my own soap, growing seedlings for the garden, grinding wheat for bread. I like the whole process from start to finish. I like to know how, or with what, something was made. I like to know what is in something.
How does you art relate to your life?
What I make has to be functional; something that can be used in the rituals of daily living.
How do you get inspired?
Colors in nature, the creativity of others. Really, though, when I am at home in the kitchen, or serving a meal, I get ideas for useful and beautiful forms.
What is your motivation to create?
I think creativity is “wired in” to everyone, and is expressed in many different ways. We are stamped with Creator God’s image, and as He is the ultimate Creator of beauty, so we can view our work as a participation with Him in bringing beauty to our world.
What is your creative process like? Do you have an idea of what you want to create or is it an organic process?
Oh, I have an image in my head. I cannot imagine sitting down with nothing in mind. It goes back to the functionality of a piece. I create because I see a need in my own life. I also want the things that I use everyday to be beautiful, not just functional.
Who has influenced your craft?
Other potters I read about…Recently, I have been influenced by wares from early America. (An aside….Dawn recently did a collection inspired by old American crocks.) Pottery had a function and a purpose in everyday life. I also appreciate the forms of traditional Japanese tea wares.
What is your driving passion in life?
Wow, that could be answered on many different levels, but ultimately I believe that we are all longing, searching, striving…for reconciliation with God. Thankfully, He has provided the Way through Jesus Christ, but I think there is a cosmic “dissatisfaction” in this life until we are ultimately fully reunited with our Creator. So…I keep on, trying to create some sort of a little temporary haven, a sanctuary, both spatially and relationally, not just for myself and my family, but for others that God brings into my life.
In addition to pottery, what does your life hold?
Growing the food we eat. Enjoying our animals – they make me laugh. Enjoying family and friends. God has surrounded us with such gifts to enjoy. We can rush by them or chose to slow down and enjoy those gifts that He gives. Truly, it is the simple things of life.