August 2010 Archives


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 WS-White-Sky-plates.jpgA Romanian poet  tells a joke about a tourist who asks two policemen in English for directions to the art museum. One policeman shrugs uncomprehending so the tourist asks in French " Ou est les Musee des arts?" Again the officer shrugs, undaunted the tourist asks again in German "Wo ist dei kunsthalle?"  Again he shrugs like he doesn't understand. Frustrated the tourist walks away and one officer says to the other ... "That guy sure knew a lot of languages" and the other one responds "Yeah a lot of good that did him."

WS-red-horizon-plates.jpgAs I worked at Watershed center for the arts I found myself thinking about the joke as a poetic parable for my work in Maine. I jumped in working with brick clay at a low temperature unsure if the conversion from my known clay and high temperature would work. I translated the materials in my clay and slip to the lower temperature of the brick clay and short nature of an open material.

WS-brushgrain-cocoon.jpg Like the tourist in the joke I kept barreling ahead trying different versions of the same idea.

WS-open-cocoon.jpgI was after the appropriate paraphrasing between hand, material and firing temperature. The language of unglazed wood fired work imposed itself on my explorations in the iron rich clay.

WS-septet.jpgI loved the opportunity to be totally immersed--one of the younger potters commented that the more mature potters were kind of intense and I said its just such a gift of time and space and lack of other responsibility to work.

WS-quintet.jpgWe also understood the variety of forms required to fill a kiln and the time restraints of drying and firing with in two weeks.

makemakemake.jpgLike the graffiti in the bathroom at the factory which said "make make make" backwards and forwards I inhaled the spell of the words.

WS-flat-moon-vase.jpgI wasn't trying to render exact forms but translate the impetus to make forms. There wasn't time to refine the deeper kind of visionary intuition but there was a mystery in the clumsiness and awkwardness and make due kind of approach of a new environment. Its adds a dimension of spice to the work. These pots have a kind of betwixt and between approach.

WS-small-moon-vase.jpg Part of the pain of not having the right tool for the job is also part of the mad scientist creativity that is beautiful. I cant help but look at the pots I made and think what if I had the gift of another two weeks. What would the next step be. What would I make on the next round?