Whilst in the British Museum a few years ago I came across these fragments of a stoneware jar that showed what looked like mischievous faces of a character that was obviously very revered in this particular culture. The jar is part of a Water Pitcher that held the most precious of all natural resources - water.
The jar, dating back to Iraq in the 11th Century, featured images of the Mesopotamian God of Life and Creativity - Enki. He was a practical joker and also protected his subjects from drought and infertility.
I found that the common needs of all humans are represented in this quirky character and spent a few years creating terracotta pieces of scorched red earth with images of him painted on them to tell his many stories.
One of these stories being how he came to power. He stole the throne from his grandfather Abzu who slept at the bottom of the seabed by casting a spell on him to stay confined to the depths of the underworld forever. An interpretation of this story being that youth will triumph over age is the throne is to continue to reign.
There are many stories of Enki, however it is his youthful spirit and determination that I most admire. Qualities needed for human survival.
He has been, and will continue to be, one of the inspirations for many of my handmade ceramics.