Spira: expressing the inexpressible in clay and haiku


Pure intimacy
parted by thought
becomes a self and world

– Rupert Spira


Rupert Spira - Deep Bowl

Deep bowl, embossed poem under Chun glaze
23 cm h x 23 cm d


… the writing helps create an unfamiliar space where the pot becomes the carrier of the text and the text the carrier of the pot. Words are supposed to float in two dimensions, but here the pot and the text have a strange pull between them. Is the pot commenting on the text?

Spira pushes these ideas hard: this is not about words as decoration. As with Kenzan, there is the knowledge of how to layer meanings, how to play with the images that words bring forth and with the feelings that forms create. By embossing his poems he takes the connection between reading with the eye and reading with the hand to another level of sensitivity.

Rupert Spira knows about the texture of words. This puts him amongst a wonderful, enlivening group of artists and poets from across the centuries. In his new pots with their words ‘embedded like a vein of quartz‘, to use his own phrase, we can see and feel something special is happening.

– Edmund de Waal


Rupert Spira - text detail from bowl

Detail showing embossed poem


Edmund de Waal is a leading British potter and writer on ceramics. (Edmund is also widely known for his international bestseller  The Hare with Amber Eyes)

This short extract is from: A single line of writing embedded like a vein of quartz
Read the entire essay at Rupert Spira’s website

Rupert Spira at the artisans’ gallery

nature’s eternity

every time I open my eyes

Love is the discovery that others are not others;
beauty is the discovery that objects are not objects.

– Rupert Spira

5 thoughts on “Spira: expressing the inexpressible in clay and haiku

  1. Oh for some of your rain, dear Carole! We are parched.

    I share your love of the skilful marriage of text and visual language. Rupert’s work will continue to inspire us, although he has recently closed the studio door – now focusing his energy on nondual teaching. And this is also an immeasurable gift for us …

    Good to connect with you here again. 🙂

  2. So nice to see the work of Rupert Spira here, I watched a video on Conscious TV and saw one of his larger bowls – a huge wide brim that seemed so immensely open, the whole outside seemed like it could be contained inside.

    1. “the whole outside seemed like it could be contained inside” – What a wonderful example of the way Rupert succeeds in “expressing the inexpressible” in his craft. One must be very intimate, seamlessly intimate, with that ineffable awareness in order for it to flower in one’s work – and for it to be perceivable on the part of the viewer…

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