More containers

Container Experiment

This was originally posted in 2005 on my old site which is no longer public but given my recent posts on climbing, I thought I’d give a bit of context to how climbing leaked out into other parts of my life.

I made these containers 30 years ago during my undergrad days at the University of Oregon Art and Architecture school. They are salt-fired stoneware with a temoku (dark iron) glaze that interacted with the salt.

The experiment was mixing media. I was an art student but also a serious rock climber and loved climbing gear so tried to work my love of perlon rope, knots, and Japanese printed fabric into my pieces as well.

These two were two of hundreds of experiments I did mixing other media into my work and the result was both visually interesting and also functional and useful.

This photo was scanned by Kodak years ago from a slide I took even more years ago so it’s not the best, but it’s all I’ve got because of this pair, only the piece on the left remains.


  1. They are little sculptures, quintessential “container”! makes you want to open them and see what’s inside, like a little present. Why are these so exciting!? There is a common thread (that I can’t articulate) from these to what you love and do now, the Japanese paper, the square photos, printing cards, your office/ studio organized with stacks of labeled plastic boxes (albeit labeled “things to sort”), so compact and clean and tidy. I mean…LOOK at the knot on the taller one! like a mountain climbing rope knot! I love it! order to this chaotic world.We need this.

    1. Joy, in fact it is a climbing knot (called a water knot). I love that knot and use it all the time to this day. I’m glad you liked these (there’s another post too right before this one); you more than most people in my life can see the big picture of how all of this stuff fits together. I lose track of myself at time.

  2. These are such very beautifully designed ceramic containers, Richard! And you’re still very meticulous in many areas, photography and more, all these years later, as Joy so aptly noted. I really like the knots too.

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