I love clay. I love it so very much. Ask my poor husband – there  have been several times over the years when I’ve had to take a break  from creating for any number of reasons, and he has to deal with my  melancholy fallout. Ceramics has this amazing, rich history that tracks  all over the globe, and working with clay has always made me feel as if I  were a part of that history, too. So the first time I saw this New York Times article pop up in my news feed, I was a little… confused? embittered? dare I say outraged? 

“While terrariums, Edison bulb light fixtures and fixed-gear  bicycles have all enjoyed moments of demarcating cool, handcrafted  small-batch ceramics are suddenly the accessory of the moment.”

Who, who were these hipsters that were taking this thing  that I loved, this uncool, sort of hippie-ish, wonderful thing and  making it TRENDY??? And why were they doing it now? Doesn’t everyone  knows that the minute something starts to be trendy, it begins its slow  descent into untrendy? I felt like they (this unnamed, man-bunned they)  were stealing something that I held sacred, like when your favorite  deep track starts to gets airplay and suddenly everyone else is  singing  along. 

Well, it’s been nearly a year since that article came out, and it’s  popped back up in my news feed periodically over that time. In the past  week, it’s had a bit of a resurgence, with no less than 3 separate  people posting it in my favorite Facebook clay community. And by the 5th  or 6th time I scowled past it, I had a bit of a revelation. 

Not only was I overreacting, but I was missing out on embracing a  moment in history by being such a big baby. Somehow I’d missed the  parallel to the craft movements that sprang up in response to the  Industrial Revolution, a period in the decorative arts and architecture  that I dearly love. Lordy, show me some Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or  William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, and I’m a happy girl. If those  artists were so important to me, why was I being so resistant to the  current movement, of artists and craftsman embracing the handmade over  the mass-produced Walmartesque fodder that’s become so ubiquitous? 

The truth is, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s jealousy that this group of  people seem to so easily fallen into success when I’ve, if I’m being  honest, struggled to find my voice. Maybe it’s that there are resources  available now that just weren’t around when I first started. Maybe it’s  that they seem so  young and unencumbered while I’m moving in the  opposite direction. Maybe it’s a little of all of these things, but does  it matter? If this field that I love is suddenly enjoying a moment in  the limelight, then everyone involved progresses. The more people there  are that love this thing along with me, then the more people there are  to advance the field and make new discoveries, and inspire each other  along the way, and that is a very, very good thing. Is it hipster? Is it  a short-lived trend? Who knows? Certainly not me. But I’ll enjoy it  while it lasts.