By Mary Baumstark
This week, the Socially Engaged Craft Collective is hosting Pots in Action! Follow along on Instagram @potsinaction or with our hashtag #PIAsociallyengaged
Pots in Action is a “crowd sourcing project that collects and features the best photographs of handmade pottery in use by potters and ceramic appreciators all over the world.” Pots in Action was founded by Ayumi Horie, and the Instagram feed and website evolved from her original project. If you check out Ayumi’s website, there’s a map of images of her own pottery being used by others all over the world!
Pots In Action captures what’s best about ceramics, and craft more generally, and that is its ability to be in the world. The pots featured on PIA are dynamic and exciting, posed and candid, and range from “in-process” videos to completed works to pots being smashed and dropped.
Pots in Action reminds us that there is no “right” way to use a pot, but rather infinite ways to engage with an object. At their core, objects are social, encouraging interaction between object and user, user and place, and multiple users at once.
I think we can all agree that platforms like Instagram and Periscope have been instrumental in connecting makers and appreciators across the globe. These platforms transform the social capacity of an object, encouraging connection and dialogue between users worlds apart. The internet renders the crafted object immaterial, transforming a physical object into an image on a screen. Once flattened into tiny pixels, the object becomes something different, something infinitely more “shareable.” The immaterial nature of the image of craft allows us to consider crafted objects as both tactile and symbolic, extending the object’s reach beyond the hand.
Pots in Action cultivates social engagement through the making and using of pots, but also through the swipe of our fingers on a screen, exploring bottomless hashtags, new makers and forms.
Pots in Action is hosted by a different people all the time! Last week, Sunshine Cobb’s weekly theme was #PIAcut, looking to the ways in which we puncture, cut, or pierce ceramics. The week before was #PIAmorning! And before that, #PIAurban! I love the infinite possibilities for this series, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with for #PIA
Upload your photos (or videos! Or GIFs!) on Instagram and tag them with #PIAsociallyengaged. Make sure you follow @potsinaction and the Socially Engaged Craft Collective @sociallyengagedcraftcollective!
See you out there!