Kate Shakeshaft Murray Ceramics

Why tie lids down on jars? It began with a request from a coffee fanatic for a jar to seal in the freshness of his coffee beans. Then I got interested in varieties of ways jar lids could be tied down, kinds of cord, beads and stones, different knots. The addition of lines, textures, color and a bit of tension to the composition is part of the fun. But beyond that there are thoughts.


Beads and strings invite the viewer to touch the piece and think about it. What could be inside? Secrets? Something fermenting? Cremains? Some jars can be opened easily, some not. Some jars that seem constricted might refer to the constraints we have experienced during the pandemic.

For myself, there are personal thoughts. My mother was a spinner, weaver and knitter, and while she is almost entirely gone to Alzheimer’s the link to her in me is very strong. So here are ties that bind. Because I am so much like her, and no longer young myself, I consider this chapter of my life to be much nearer the end than the beginning. It’s a chapter to be consciously enjoyed, a time to tie up loose ends, to think about “wrapping things up”.

Kate Shakeshaft Murray
July 2021