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Mindful Holiday Shopping

You may have seen a picture or two going around the internet that tells people that buying cheap, mass produced products from China that are made in sweat shops is not really a great way to show someone how much you care. Sometimes it feels contradictory to me to be a maker and also be someone who is anti-stuff. But I am and I have had to justify it to myself.

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to start off saying how much I love making pots. I create them because I love them. My opinion might be a bit bias because of this love of creating pottery.

I also love sharing my pottery with people. I love how happy it makes them when they think something I have made is beautiful. I enjoy the connection when a customer sees something I think is pretty and they feel the same about it. I believe that lives are enriched by having beautiful things around us.

People occasionally worry about breaking pottery if they use it but I always tell them that I doubt they will break the piece. They care about it, they picked it out, they thought it was beautiful, they paid more for it then they would a mass produced product and it has meaning for them. The owner of that piece of pottery will be more likely to be careful with it. They will be more mindful of how they move while holding that piece and how they move around that piece. Being mindful, even if it’s almost unconsciously is a good way to be.

Salt Fired Ceramic Pitcher by Lori Buff
Salt Fired Pitcher

When I create my pots I think of them being used everyday. I put a little bit of myself into every piece I make. The person who uses that pot connects with me on some level each time the pot is used or enjoyed.  You’re not going to find that connection with something that is mass produced by slave labor in another country.

Several days ago I worked my shift at The Collective where I sell my pottery. A woman came in and spent over an hour looking for the perfect gift for a coworker. She cared about this person and wanted to give her something meaningful, something that showed she cared. I suspect the recipient will care about that gift and the giver for many, many years.

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


  1. Very well said, and I couldn't agree more!

  2. Yes, I know just what you mean... I try not to collect stuff but then I just love having a little piece made by a fellow potter... contradictory isn't it :)

    1. Hi Anna, I don’t think it is contradictory. The piece of pottery holds a connection to that other potter and has meaning and memories, it’s not just “stuff.”

  3. I'm a collector and I've always loved searching for just the right piece for a flower arrangement or a table decoration even before I started working with clay. I used to have quite a large collection of antique flower pots. Now that I work in clay I can appreciate all the work and dedication that goes into making a pot


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