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Being Mindful

The door to the Craft House, where I’m living on the Penland School of Crafts is an old style iron latch. The building is 80 years old and made of logs and stone, it’s very cool. I assume this door latch was made in the iron shop here. You don’t see too many door latches like this any more. Which means that people aren’t used to them and the door is continually left unlatched no matter what the weather. With modern door knobs we simply give them a little pull and the door closes and latches but with this one you have to be actively involved in operating the latch and making sure it engages. You have to pause and be mindful that the door is completely closed and latched behind you whenever you pass through it.

I think it’s good for me to take a moment and think about things I’m doing. I rush through life sometimes always moving on to the next task or idea. It’s exciting but so is right now. Experiencing the moment can make it special and memorable. Even when it’s a simple task like latching the door behind me as I transition through it.

While I’m here at Penland I want to take the time to be more mindful and intentional in my pottery. I could crank out a hundred mugs and have all or most of them come out of the kiln looking beautiful but I have to remind myself that’s not why we are here taking this class. We are trying to make better art, we are trying to improve our craft. We are taking time to be mindful of our work, our beautiful sunsets, each other, and little things like door latches.

What do you do to slow yourself down?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. great latch, to slow myself down all I have to do is look outside, or accidentally fall, and you know I'd much rather do the former.

  2. Slow myself down? Reading great blogs! Thanks!

  3. We have a very similar iron latch on the front door to our gallery. It was made by the blacksmith here in Seagrove, NC. Some people have trouble opening the door and it also get left unlatched a lot!
    You have such a wonderful opportunity to take the pressure off of making for a show and instead exploring new ideas and techniques.

  4. I think everything about Penland makes you slow down and experience mindful living. Its a magical place, lucky you!!

  5. Very timely...was rushing around Thursday and made some stupid mistakes, argh! Yes, try to be mindful, what's the hurry?


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