Video Details

The Potter's Meal: A Film About Joseph Bennion

Grade Levels: 6 - 12
Core Subject(s): Fine Arts - Visual Arts, Educational Technology
Usage rights: Download and retain personal copies in perpetuity.

Availability information for this program


  • Perparing a Pot for Firing - The Spiritual Aspects of Creating Art

    Potter Joe Bennion places a pot on the wheel and trims away unneeded clay to create the finished form. He stamps each piece with his signature, or his potter's mark, a Hebrew character, similar to a "Y," that looks like a person with arms raised that means "praise the Lord." Bennion explains that his mark reminds him of the spiritual aspect of his work.

    Length: 00:01:10
  • The Connection Between the Artist and the Art Consumer

    While shaping the handle on a mug, potter Joe Bennion discusses how functional art can also be expressive art. He believes that using handmade pottery on a daily basis, allows a subconscious connection to grow between the art object and the user based on the intimate contact involved in touching and drinking from the mug. As we watch customers visit his shop, Horseshoe Mountain Pottery, and handle his art, he discusses the value of understanding that handmade goods are what supplied people's needs for millennia even though machine-made goods are the norm today.

    Length: 00:02:10
  • The Similarity Between Firing Pots in a Kiln and Raising a Child

    Potter Joe Bennion adds a piece of wadding clay to the bottom of each unfired piece and places them onto the shelves of a kiln. The wadding clay is made of a highly refractory material ensuring that the pot won't stick to the shelf during the firing process. He discusses how his relationship with the kiln is like a father's relationship with a son: he anticipates a good outcome but must be satisfied with whatever happens.

    Length: 00:01:15
  • Throwing a Pot - The Interplay Among Artist, Materials and Techniques

    Potter Joe Bennion begins by kneading clay then throwing and shaping an oval bowl on a manual potter's wheel. He speaks about choosing to use materials (clay) and a technology (foot-powered treadle wheel) that, by their nature, require he give away some control in the creative process. He enjoys that unpredictability and understands the importance of allowing the art form and materials to speak for themselves. Bennion also explains how each piece of pottery communicates something to the user about its maker while contributing to the performance of a meal.

    Length: 00:03:17



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