I remember the day I decided to give up pottery. I was trimming a group of bowls I had thrown. Looking at them, I realized they would never be that perfect again. Drying would warp some, bisque firing break some, and glaze firing change them irrecoverably. They might evolve into something beautiful, but they would always be different from what I saw in those simple bowls.

One evening, on an old iron lathe I had bought at auction (which is another story altogether), I turned a crude bowl using a piece of soapstone from my sculpture work. Somehow, despite my abject ignorance of turning, it stayed together. Over the next few months, I thought about that piece and how to combine stone, clay shapes and a lathe. Five years later, full of my own creativity, I discovered that the Egyptians had turned stone 3500 years ago. I now know three or four other stoneturners and have seen the work of a few more. We are not a gregarious group that shares material and tools and techniques. I think of miners, protecting their claims.

It has been twenty years since I turned my first stone bowl. I wake in the morning eager to get to the shop where I work in voluntary solitude, amid dust, raw stones, unfinished pieces, and the newest generation of turning tools. The stones change, and the tools evolve. The dust, however, remains a constant, as does the conviction that the next piece will be the best I have ever made.

Each container is wrapped and boxed. Each box is numbered and signed. Each box is made by me: there should be something about every process that is a chore.