I've always enjoyed school and the growth from that experience. My love of the classics is reflected in my pottery forms.
"A life without Art is like a ship without oars" -- Anon.
Thank you for visiting my site. I'd like to share with you this quotation I felt was an important revelation. I believe it to be an ethical creed for all artists.
In his book (The Potter's Challange) the late Bernard Leach offers an important insight to us all;
"Very few people in this country think of pottery making as an art. The great majority has no criterion of aesthetic values to distinguish between the genuinely good and the meretricious works.
Even more unfortunate is the position of the average potter, who without some standard of fitness and beauty derived from tradition, cannot be expected to produce, not necessarily masterpieces, but even intrinsically sound work.
There are hundreds of thousands of people studying pottery today. Some are seriously pursuing these studies in art school and others only work in pottery on weekends.
The medieval traditional craftsman had a standard established by the guild. When we observe the excellence in oak furniture, in the wrought ironwork, in an edifice like Chartres and in medieval pottery, we ask who created the work. These things were not created by men of genius.
They were made by average people who were sometimes very good stonecutters, joiners, potters and blacksmiths. It was a communal contribution and it provides a precedent.
It tells us today that there must be a way by which the ordinarily-gifted man can do something with his life that is worthwhile. Today is a different time from that which produced the minds of those in medieval centuries.
The potter is no longer a peasant or journeyman, nor can he be described as an industrial worker. He is, by force of circumstance, an artist craftsman - working for the most part alone or with few assistants.
Potters are searching for a balanced form of expression. Pottery is one of the few activities today in which a person can use his natural facilities of head, heart and hand in an equal balance.
When the potter produces simple things such as bowls, pitchers and mugs, he is taking on two tasks at the same time. He is making wares, which may give pleasure in use and in turn gives satisfaction to the maker.
The potter also is traveling in the never-ending search for perfection of form. It as the two activities comes together and the potter is at one with the clay, that the pot will begin to have life in it.
In the work of the potter artist who throws his own pots, there is a unity of design and execution - a cooperation of hand and undivided personality.
In contrast, factories have practically driven folk art out of existence. It survives only in out of the way corners even in Europe.
It should be made clear that the work of the individual potter belongs to one aesthetic category and the finished results of the operation of industrialized manufacture, to another, quite different category.
The pots of the world we consider the best - Korean of the Yi Dynasty and Chinese Sung - this quality is evoked out of what was especially considered repeat work. These rice and soup bowls we admire were made by the thousands.
(In the pottery I produce, I have always worked in repetition - recreating the shapes I enjoy making.)
When a work is created by hand, there is always some difference in each work. This is where the pleasure is found.
This might lead one to ask why the artist craftsman should compete with a machine that can repeat shapes in an exact form - per item. The answer is that aside from the rhythm and method of work that develops within the potter, there are a surprising number of people who want to enjoy a mug when it is being used. They cannot get this joy when the man who produced it really did not make it and experienced no joy from the task.
The late Shoji Hamada was once asked why he always repeated the same motif on his pots (that of a stem of sugar cane blown askew after a typhoon). His answer was that it was not a repeat and was never the same twice. Even if he tried to repeat the pigment, brush stroke, movement of his arm, and his thought, a difference would still exist, he said. We recognize the same motif, but each application has a fresh vitality and is appropriate to the pot it decorates.
The trouble with the artist craftsman today is the ego. They desperately want to be shown in the best galleries and create a one-of-a-kind work of art, analogous to the Mona Lisa. They are not content to simply do a good work of art out of repetition."
(When my mother cooked, she often made the same dish. It was always good, but never the same. She cooked out of the love of doing a good job. Work for work's sake, art for art's sake.)
"We cannot expect to be forever on tiptoe. We cannot all be like a star of the film. While there are stars born, there will never be many.
We do not need to be a star to create beauty. What are the ingredients of beauty? Sincerity is one - sincerity to one's own true nature. To make a thing so well as it is possible is close to admiration of life."
A little bit more about my work
In the following pages you will see examples of my work and some reference documents. My work reflects what Mr Leach states in his book. I have taken forms I admire out of historic context, and used them as a point of departure. Although, they are of an historic genre, these repeats are not an attempt to recreate an exact likeness. Each is very different from that of the ancient in form and embellishment.
These are my favorites and I will be adding more soon. I am currently building a huge kiln and hope to be set up in production later this year.
I welcome your opinion and/or comments. Please E-Mail me. I appreciate your input.
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