Quiet Grace


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Often it is the quiet grace of a scene, individual or object that draws me in. There will be brighter hues in the evening sky, or a more colourful character at the cafe or a shinier pebble on the beach, each providing a flash of engagement. They are not the ones that hold me. I will be waiting for the softer moments to appear – ones that I can linger over and savour. The sunset in Dinner Bay above is a perfect example. And so is this pottery pot.

When you see this lovely pottery pot on the shelf with other more brightly coloured cousins it may be tempting to pass it by. But all you would need to do is pick it up to know and see its unmistakable beauty and quality. As with many of the potter’s pieces, it is multipurpose and can be used to cook a small roast, chicken or bake a stew, casserole or beans.

Just look at the detail on the lip of the lid which fits smoothly onto the pot.

Here is a dew-covered snapshot of the bottom. Are you smitten yet?

Mayne Island Quasimodo Pottery creates unique, extremely high quality craftsmanship and functional art in its pottery pieces.

Of course, there is no point in having a pot like this without a good recipe for homemade baked beans. This recipe is from my mom and given to her by her mom. It was my favourite dish as a child and I used to request it for my birthday dinner.

Homemade Baked Beans

1 lb dried beans (pinto beans)

1/2 tsp dried mustard

2 tbsp dolmolso (dark) molasses – I use about 3 tbsp with another tbsp maple syrup or bit of brown sugar but it is a matter of taste and what kind of pork you use will change sweetness.

A piece of unsliced bacon, salt pork, smoked pork hock, ham bone, (or beaver tail if that is all you have)

1 small onion

2 stalks celery (and I add a couple of carrots)

black pepper to taste

*Note: don’t add salt until partly cooked and tasted because of salty pork

Cover dried beans in lots of water add a dash of baking soda and soak overnight. In the morning, rinse beans add fresh water and simmer for about an hour on top of the stove. Then put beans in roaster or bean pot with other ingredients and enough of the liquid to cover. Bake at 250 degrees until done – probably will take all day. Add water if and as necessary – very important when using a roaster as beans tend to dry out more easily than in a bean pot.

This pot of beans was served with fresh wholewheat sourdough bread.

Sprout Question: How would you describe what attracts you in creativity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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29 thoughts on “Quiet Grace

  1. Terrill – I’m so hungry I could scream. Gosh, but that sounds mouth-wateringly delicious! Thank you for the recipe; it will be put to good use in our home.

    Sprout Question: How would you describe what attracts you in creativity?

    Imperfection is what draws me in. Things that aren’t “just so.” Rather, a little askew here, or a bit off kilter there…

      • Yes, I am very disapointed, as now the pictures online are so much clearer than my phone!, and it truly is gorgeous and has quiet grace!

        I might have to talke to Lauries husband about his plane! Although I don’t think it can go that far??

        Kim

      • Kim I trust that you will find the perfect pottery bean pot close to home though it is fun to think about Len flying with you and Laurie to Mayne Island for a visit. We no longer have a runway (used to be a bumpy field that was used for the purpose just a stones through away in the valley below where I live) so it has to be a float plane to fly to Mayne Island. However, Len can land at the small plane section of the Vancouver Airport and hitch a ride with the float plane scheduled for here. So in that sense it can be done…

  2. Wonderful photo at Dinner Bay! …it sums up what attracts me to creativity. When I see something beautiful, I want to capture it and keep it forever.

    One cool quality of being a person and not another animal is that we can create. It is gift given us by our Creator. I think God gave me special wiring that can only be satisfied by making things and solving problems. Just like we all need food, water and air, I need the opportunity to pursue creative activities. And nothing inspires me more than the natural beauty in the world around me.

    That is why I am so impressed by your sunset at Dinner Bay. It was a “home run” to me!

    You have been a catalyst for me. This past weekend I dug out my dried up watercolor paints and did my first painting in almost a year. It felt soooo good.

    • Thank you Sherwin:) And so exciting – you have broken out your water colours! Congratulations!

      Your comment “I think God gave me special wiring that can only be satisfied by making things and solving problems. ” made me smile with a new kind of recognition about our human character…. thank you for that.

    • Well I image Kim that you made the potter’s day by phoning and asking:)

      Readers, most communities have excellent local pottery… it is worth scouting around and finding an artist whose work pleases you and is functional. If you are wanting to cook with it make sure it is lead free and made for cooking. It is a great way to support a local artist and local economy.

  3. I am in a coffee shop now and starving, just starving, like Laurie. They are serving sub sandwiches (not baked beans) at a meeting I am attending in 20 minutes.

    Read with fascination your attraction to softer moments, quiet grace. And pondered that. I think it depends on my mood. In certain brighter flashier moods I am attracted to the shiny pebbles. After deep meditation or peaceful spaces then the more subtle gifts open up.

    • I hope the sandwich was good Kathy – I guess I should have posted a warning at the beginning of the post… Warning: reading this post could cause hunger pangs.

      I too notice the shiny pebbles in life but it is the quiet grace that has me settle in and really take note. Shiny pebbles tend to release a burst of energy in my like a fizzst! – which is good if I have been holding it back for some reason.

      Good to have you drop in before your meeting Kathy. I have to come see what is happening in your neighbourhood late today or early tomorrow. It is my coaching afternoon and I am just checking in between clients.

  4. What attracts me in creativity… an imperfect line, an impressionistic stroke, peeling paint, a feeling inside. Things that show character, things that are unique for some reason, show me a different way to see the world, that speak to me in some way.

  5. Terrill – First, thank you for the shout out.

    You asked: “Imperfection… is that the sabi of wabi-sabi Laurie? Or is it imperfection in general?”

    I’d have to say it’s both. Right now in sacred geometry I’m studying triangles (I’ll do a post on this some time in the future). For me there’s too much “perfection” in the even-sided ones.

    Even though they’re made up of angles and edges — I’m finding “quiet grace” in the un-even ones. I’m finding maiden, mother, and crone.

    • You are welcome Laurie and I am really curious about what sacred geometry might be.

      Beautiful word picture… “Even though they’re made up of angles and edges — I’m finding “quiet grace” in the un-even ones. I’m finding maiden, mother, and crone.”

  6. Good Morning Terrill…creativity is something that is basic to the soul…personally, I cannot stay alive long without doing something that counts towards making life more full in some way. For me it is really not a matter of attraction, it is a matter of force.

    Quiet grace, to me, is somewhat like humility…you mess with it for any amount of time and it is gone, just like that. It seems to me that it is very ephemeral…like hibiscus blossoms.

    • Good morning Shirley… “it is really not a matter of attraction, it is a matter of force” Quiet grace has that doesn’t it? A sense of coming from deep within with a heart, mind, spirit connection flowing through whatever creative problematic we are working through. Ephemeral seems a good word to use.

      I believe awhile ago I linked to Paul Ruiz blog to his post called “Working Though Dark Times: The Painting of ‘Night Stand‘” but I am going to reference it again in relation to Shirley’s comments. When I think about how he sustains his creative exploration over weeks and months while the gallery awaits a new work and how he sets a work aside and works on another so he can gain more experience to finish the first I marvel at how he doesn’t “mess” with his process. Paul shares his learning, his process and the development of a painting in a way that by the time I get to the last frame I am invested in the finished painting. I think about the “Night Stand” painting and his process in creating it often.

      There is something about accessing the relationship between another’s creative process and their subject that, when it touches – even lightly, it becomes pure energy. We know that we know this when we experience it. Even if there are no specific words, colours, or shapes we can point to and say “it is because of this” we still know and hunger for and grieve the losses of these authentic glimpses. These glimpses like “Night Stand” may be uniquely personal yet they have lasting echos that reverberate between other aspects and relationships of our daily living.

      Thank you Shirley… that is a long meandering response to your sprout response:)

  7. Once again Terrill you have assembled some indelible images and a creative path to provide your readers with a unique experience that brings one in mind and spirit to your paradise setting. I can smell those beans, admire that pottery, and relish the sensory allure of that orange-tinted beach setting. (which would be the envy of some filmmakers like Michael Mann for example) But again, your thrust is always to bring in all the senses to replicate the actual setting. As a result one can imagine well enough to fill in the “sounds.”

    The ‘personal’ element in creativity (which often mirrors one’s interests, aspirations and taste) is always something I try to discern when possible. Your own effervescence shines through in so much of what you post here for your lucky readers! The quality of the responses here are proof parcel that you are making a lasting impression.

    • Thank you Sam:) It is always wonderful to see your sprouts growing in with your own brand of perfusion of colour on Creative Potager. This is a great community for sharing their gems. I am glad you are part of it.

  8. I enjoyed your excellent photo of Dinner Bay, and now that we are visiting a bay–I hope to see a few colorful sunsets as well.

    In answer to your question–it is patience. Knowing that someone not only has talent to create something special, but also the patience necessary to invest in a work of beauty.

    • Slamdunk I believe that patience, daily discipline and sprinklings of new learning and inspiration are the cornerstones to successful creative works. That is what keeps me posting on Creative Potager and sitting down in my studio or taking my camera out each day. Sometimes I miss a day or two, usually on weekends… this is renewal time for me. Monday will see me back at it again:)

  9. Dear readers,

    I just heard from Quasimodo Pottery today and “When Dave got the calls he could only tell people that we did not mail order which is true. However we do sell our work out of Side Street Gallery in Victoria who will ship anywhere in the world so if any of the people who enquired are friends etc. and are still interested they can get the casserole through this gallery. ”

    You can reach Side Street Gallery website at http://www.sidestreetstudio.com (you may have to email them with a link to this blog post to get what you are looking for but looks like it is possible)

    So there you go!

    • Oh Kim I am so glad you stopped in! I did get the email from Laurie with the great photo of your beans. I replied but it failed to go through. Is that your new bean pot as well in the photo you sent me? Have you posted the photo on your blog so we can link to it?

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