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Pottery is at once the simplest and the most difficult of all the arts. It is the simplest because it is the most elemental; it is the most difficult because it is the most abstract. Historically it is among the first of the arts. The earliest vessels were shaped by hand from crude clay dug out of the earth, and such vessels were dried in the sun and wind. Even at that stage, before man could write, before he had a literature or even a religion, he had this art, and the vessels then made can still move us by their expressive form ... Judge the art of a country, judge the fineness of its sensibility, by its pottery, it is a sure touchstone. Pottery is pure art; it is art freed from any imitative intention.
Herbert Read, The Meaning of Art

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