I am Deirdre Puleo. I am a potter.
In Pablo Neruda’s Poetry, he opens with “And it was at that age …poetry arrived in search of me.” He finishes with, “And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke loose on the wind.”
It’s a love story about his discovery of, relationship with and surrender to the written word. Substitute the word ‘poetry’ with ‘pottery’ and the poem could very well be about me and my love affair with clay.
I can’t pinpoint the day I first discovered pottery—it was decades ago—but I do know it’s been in my life, in the background or foreground, in some shape or form, ever since. If I'm not making it, I'm traveling to Peru or Sicily or Ireland to collect it. My home overflows with pots made by friends and artists local and abroad; I soak in their beauty. Over time, because of either a terribly low attention span or an insatiable thirst for all that the craft offers, I’ve likely explored every type, process and technique that exists: low fire, high fire, salt fire, soda fire, wood fire, raku, stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, black pottery, hand-building, slab rolling, wheel throwing…the list goes on. It's almost as if I was meant to travel down those other roads just to find my current passion, pit firing. And although each journey has been a rewarding experience, this one feels different. This time, I think, I've found home.
My studio is in a charming renovated horse barn in Boulder, Colorado that I share collaboratively with seven other potters. I have my space, they have theirs, and we talk over our counters or catch up in the kiln yard. It’s the perfect combination of privacy and camaraderie, and it’s there that I find inspiration, courage and peace.
My best friend and constant companion, Jet, (aka Buddee) seems to like every pot I make.