Octopational Hazard

I have too many pots in my booth. Too many choices. Too many patterns. It's an occupational hazard; I just can't pass up a good idea.

Some of my best ideas aren't mine at all. I don't mean I stole them. Rather, someone came into my booth and said, "Could you make me a pot with a (blank) on it?" And since I'm a sucker for a challenge, and love to draw, more often than not I'll say "Sure!"

That's how I got goat plates. Horse toddler bowls. Giraffe mugs, penguin pies, tiger cookie jars, they all started as special orders. So when an Oregon State marine biology graduate student asked me to do a set of soup bowls in an octopus pattern, well, I dove right in.

I love octopi. They're curious, intelligent, and amazingly flexible--they can squeeze through tiny openings, limited only by the size of their hard beak. And they seem to have a catlike sense of mischief. I remember hearing of a Pacific octopus at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport that liked to play hide and seek. She'd regularly escape overnight from her enclosure, and lay in wait for her keepers to arrive the next morning.

So how could I resist? And true to form, the little squigglers escaped from Liz's bowls, and are now showing up on tall mugs, serving bowls, dinner plates and--you guessed it--octopie dishes.