John Quimby Ceramics


"The Stones Show the Way"


    Cairns have historically played both a practical and spiritual role

for the human race.  Crossing cultures and continents they show

around the globe up as guideposts in inhospitable environments- deserts,

mountain - tops, treeless coasts and barren wilderness.  Piles of stones, some crude and haphazard, others artful and gravity-defying, one leading to the next just in sight, have guided travelers to their destination for centuries.  Perhaps there is an instinctual response to cairns; people are drawn to them, they impel us to move forward, and sometimes, to reflect on the past. Cairns have marked trails, and marked the passing of souls.  Cairns have marked arrivals and departures.  Cairns have marked the finding of God. Simple, earthy, with traces of a geological past and artistic intent, each stone is different and yet is of a family.

    These cairn kits have found homes on the desks of students and business people, in personal alters and shrines, and in the tool kits of child psychologists along with therapeutic sand trays.  And most often they are a gift- one person recognizing another in the potential, and bestowing it upon a friend. Each miniature cairn set consists of at least 13 hand -formed stoneware "stones", made with the same colored clays that I use in my pottery.  No two

are alike.  They are fired to 2200 degrees farenheit, transformed in the process into rock-like shapes with the weight and tactile properties and striations  of real stones, without the sharp edges.  Many contain "fossils"- evidence of colored clay patterns utilized in my work.

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