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  • Writer's pictureLetters Wander

Morley has Grit

Warren Mackenzie was an American artist or, as he put it… he made a “rather casual pot”.

As a younger man he and his wife, also a creator, turned their hand to a lot of different art and craft works: “You know, when you’re young, you think you can do anything, and we thought, oh, we’ll be potters, we’ll be painters, we’ll be textile designers, we’ll be jewellers, we’ll be a little of this, a little of that. We were going to be the renaissance people.” But it soon became clear to the couple that it might be more satisfying doing one thing over and over, striving for excellence in a shared passion rather than playing amateur in many interests.

Their goal was a simple one; to make pots without the ego of the artist, striving to make things that were the most exciting things they could make but that would fit in people’s homes. Beautiful pots that would be used; loved, but functional. Pots for the table, not just the shelf.

Everything from that point was geared toward achieving that one passion.

Early on, Mackenzie creations were not the best; he described them later as ‘pretty awful…but the best that we could create at the time’. Warren was being modest, the pots, even then, had a quality and a depth that they could build on.

But they persevered; they confronted obstacles with creativity; challenged a lack of sophistication with optimism… through passion and stamina, scholarship and courage they improved. They made pots that were functional, but, with a simplicity in their form and richness in quality, were also celebrated as art… humble masterpieces of design… and still the best they could create at the time. .

Warren passed away in 2018 at the age of 94 still trying to be better by doing his best. .

If we have passion for a long-term goal, find the stamina to keep going despite the obstacles and give up on seeking perfection and instead strive for excellence and a ‘best we can’ attitude… we don’t need to wait for the finish line to win.

It’s wonderful to have pride in an accomplishment... but pleasure only builds in the journey and strength always rejoices in the challenge.

Virtus Tentamine Gaudet - Strength Rejoices in the Challenge.

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