Being a potter is the giving and receiving of thanks.
My pottery is about food presentation. It is made to bring foods to light. While function is a primary consideration, mood is of greater importance. I try to create atmosphere with my tableware. Considerations about mood or atmosphere contribute to the overall look and feel of my pieces. Ideas come easily, but meaning seems to come in layers over decades of time. It is meaning that gives strength to good ideas. I hope that my ideas have grown with my skills.
I am concerned with ritual as well. Rituals uncover the basic values, aims and attitudes of a people. I am half Sicilian and half Cajun, whose cultures are wrought with superstitions. Throw in a Catholic upbringing and I have rituals dancing all about me. Cooking has given me an avenue to explore and create my personal rituals. I began to cook when I was a teenager, and it has been a strong, sustaining interest in my life.
Currently I am interested in the notions of hospitality. Hospitality, which means to give and to receive. I view pottery as a vehicle of hospitality, because a pot gives and receives simultaneously; it is both host and guest.
I think about things like:
Food- which foods are chosen from those available; how they are prepared; with whom, and when they are eaten; and how much time is allotted to cooking and eating. Food is one of the means by which society creates itself, and acts out its aims and functions.
How do I, as a maker of tableware, direct the theater of dining? This is where I believe I have some ability to give something to society. Here I become the host and the guest. By thinking about foods as identity, as our physical selves, as a way of thought, as sex, as power, as friendship, as a medium of magic and witchcraft, as our time controller, I see food as the root culture: that which gives meaning to our lives.
I hope my ideas about dining will shape and dramatize the rituals surrounding food. I want my tableware to embody the unspoken assumptions of my heritage and culture.
– Silvie Granatelli, 2020