Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Walk Through The Universe: The Vessel, Week 3

Welcome back to A Walk Through The Universe in the middle of a busy December...no matter where you are on the planet, it seems! It's no different here on the Northern Plains! I am posting this one day early, as I'll be visiting family for a bit and won't get to the blog tomorrow! 

We have been considering the vessel or container this month and I've been using those terms interchangably, always aware that there must be some subtle difference in the actual definition of each.

ves·sel  (vsl)
1. A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container, especially for liquids.
a. Nautical A craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water.
b. An airship.
3. Anatomy A duct, canal, or other tube that contains or conveys a body fluid: a blood vessel.
4. Botany One of the tubular conductive structures of xylem, consisting of dead cylindrical cells that are attached end to end and connected by perforations. They are found in nearly all flowering plants.
5. A person seen as the agent or embodiment, as of a quality: a vessel of mercy.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin vscellum, diminutive of Latin vsculum, diminutive of vs
con·tain·er  (kn-tnr)
1. A receptacle, such as a carton, can, or jar, in which material is held or carried.
2. A large reusable receptacle that can accommodate smaller cartons or cases in a single shipment, designed for efficient handling of cargo.

So there is a lot of overlap, but it seems that the vessel, when used as a "container" refers more to something that holds liquid....

So, I had this idea to take photographs of many of the containers we have in the house filled with all manner of little things, but the camera batteries died, so at least I have this first one to show for my efforts.  I would maintain that this this little bowl, made by my husband Johntimothy years ago, is a vessel, not just a container.  It is totally filled with sharks teeth that we collected during summer sojourns to the beach at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, where my family would gather for a week summer after summer at this central location for those of us coming from various parts of the country. Sharks teeth galore! Many hours were spent, especially by Johntimothy, combing the sand for the color and shape that might indicate a shark's tooth.  His eyes were more attuned to the hunt and he always collected vastly more than the rest of us combined.  I have fond memories of those weeks...we watched my nieces and nephews grow up, as we saw them anew summer after summer. The sun and the sea, fine food, good conversation, the dictionary game, Scrabble, so many books to read between us all that we were afraid the "book police" would come and confiscate our loot. 

Those sharks teeth aren't liquid, but that's really only part of what fills the little bowl...the memories of those summers flow freely into all the spaces between the teeth and fill it to the rim.   You see, I had no idea what I would write when I began this post with that little bowl of sharks teeth...but the memories came flooding back and then they came pouring out...the bowl contains something liquid...it must be a vessel.


  1. enjoyed your story of the vessel! It made me look at some of the vessels in this house , thinking of the memories they contained! thank you

  2. Thanks for your comment Lyle...you'll find those liquid memories filling all kinds of places...enjoy!

  3. Hi Patti I've just come back to re-read this in amongst the madness here. I like the idea that vessels contains fluid - or that which flows. And memory is fluid and thoughts flow, so perhaps every container with special memories contained within it is a vessel. I always enjoy where your wanderings take us and appreciate that you make me think, wonder and want to explore. Best wishes for Christmas and the new year - peace, happiness and creativity to you.

  4. Fiona...you're doing more than I am...haven't been able to look at my blog reading list since the weekend! Won't I have a lot of catching up to do when I get home!? So glad you liked this post! Returning warm wishes to you and Barry for all good things...a year of peace and happiness!


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!