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bciskepottery

Kiln gods, goddesses, good and not so

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bciskepottery    925

Hard not to agree . . .

 

 

FROM LORI WATTS/FINE MESS POTTERY BLOG

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 

The Potter's Loud Lament

 

From Homer's Epigram's fragment 14: "Potters, if you give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena [goddess of pottery], with hand upraised over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Suntribos (Shatter) and Smaragon (Smash) and Asbetos (Charr) and Sabaktes (Crash) and Omodamos (Crudebake) who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside."

 

You thought it was a joke, about the kiln gods! Not only did the Greeks acknowledge Athena as the Goddess of Craft, there were five, count 'em, FIVE demons who existed solely to torment potters: Suntribos (the Shatterer), Smaragos (the Smasher), Asbetos (Charrer), Sabaktes (Destroyer) and Omodamos (Crudebake). These are the Daimones Keramikoi: fear them.

 

Geez Louise! No wonder it's such an uphill struggle.

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R Fraser    3

I have a strong affinity for a Shinto style belief system when it comes to my kilns, and generally offer premium Sake or good quality single malt Scotch to my little kiln Kami cups. I also feel strongly that my kiln Kami do not like to drink alone, so after loading and before lighting the pilot burners I have a toast or 2 to the happiness of the kiln and its ware, and another wee dram to wish for a safe & happy firing.

It is surprising that the Greeks felt they needed more antagonistic dieties than charitable ones when it came to their pottery.

Richard

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kathi    2

My son came to visit and decided that he needed to sculpt for me a new kiln god, hence the birth of "Bardo - the screaming god of the royally _____." I also have a 'swig' with Bardo prior to lighting the kiln, in hopes that he will not get up to any mischief!

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Benzine    609

"It is surprising that the Greeks felt they needed more antagonistic dieties than charitable ones when it came to their pottery."

 

The Ancient Greeks, sure did enjoy their vengeful gods, and the punishment, that came from them. Every powerful, successful figure, was met with misery, for their "Hubris". It's not surprise, they felt the same about their pottery.

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Natania    6

Hard not to agree . . .

 

 

FROM LORI WATTS/FINE MESS POTTERY BLOG

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 

The Potter's Loud Lament

 

From Homer's Epigram's fragment 14: "Potters, if you give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena [goddess of pottery], with hand upraised over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Suntribos (Shatter) and Smaragon (Smash) and Asbetos (Charr) and Sabaktes (Crash) and Omodamos (Crudebake) who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside."

 

You thought it was a joke, about the kiln gods! Not only did the Greeks acknowledge Athena as the Goddess of Craft, there were five, count 'em, FIVE demons who existed solely to torment potters: Suntribos (the Shatterer), Smaragos (the Smasher), Asbetos (Charrer), Sabaktes (Destroyer) and Omodamos (Crudebake). These are the Daimones Keramikoi: fear them.

 

Geez Louise! No wonder it's such an uphill struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

I think an Ancient Greek potter must have been the first author of this passage, and that s/he was speaking from experience. It explains a lot. Looks like I'll have to start on a kiln god tomorrow. And I thought my current technical problems were purely secular...

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This is soooo cool!

At my studio we have some "kiln gods" that are loaded into every single fire; some of them are as old as 30+ years having seen hundreds if not a thousand firings.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of the gods was made in the 80's by a close family friend when she learned from the man that is now my mentor. Infact said kiln god is about 2100 degrees right now in some serious reduction!

 

I dont say a prayer or take a dram or anything before we fire, but i always make sure that the gods are placed so that they might feel the lick of the flame as i would assume, a kiln god would like.

 

Cheers!

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