Potter and Space

The potter knows she plays with clay but works with space,
For the use of the bowl is its empty space.
It is the same with the room,
Made whole by the emptiness between the walls.
Remember that something is not everything.
Nothing is also essential.*

~ Lao Tzu

Without space there would be no substance. Substance is not everything, although our mind likes to think it so.

I remember a time when I was painting watercolors, and learning about negative space. This is the space or background that the subject is set against. Β Imagine choosing a tree to paint, and rather than painting in the tree, you paint the space around it.

watercolor trees

Source: Pinterest

Space must be considered in order to allow the subject to shine forth from the paper. Its brings harmony to the piece.

When we consider that nothing is essential, it turns inside out how we see things. I know it also reminds me how limited our thinking mind can be.

Nothing is essential.



*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 211-215). . Kindle Edition.

38 thoughts on “Potter and Space

  1. Nothing IS essential! If it weren’t for nothing, we could not experience ‘something.’ I love that you mention art, for when I produce a pastel drawing, I always begin with negative space first. Then the image emerges from that. And then there’s the Big Bang theory … πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love thinking about this. Not being an artist it isn’t something I considered before. Maybe it’s true of poetry also. There is always something between the lines, though it appears to be empty space. The unspoken upon which the words are formed…. ?
    Thanks for the thought provoking post, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Something between the lines that is unspoken, yet felt…. I love this Betty β™₯️ Words come from the empty space within. We create them with thought and give them substance as they come into the world I’d substance.
      Lots to reflect on. Thank you Betty πŸ’•


  3. I think we are too quick to rely on our 5 senses and to dismiss what we cannot experience physically. Maybe we can be reminded here that in the greater scheme of things, ‘nothing’ came before ‘something’. Thanks for this lovely post Val.

    Liked by 1 person

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