Lee Love on tue 23 mar 10
Certainly, children are creative. The most fascinating thing to
me while I was doing myy degree work, was developmental psychology.
But we sentimentalize childhood. I have been working on an article
related to Mingei and in it I criticize Soetsu Yanagi for
romanticizing the "Unknown Craftman", in a similar way we think about
children. The "noble savage" syndrome of the Imperial age. We use
this perspective when we examine children from our "superior"
While all children are creative, they are not all artists.
Sometimes creativity comes out in language ability. My daughter was
gifted in this way as a toddler. Or they might be gifted in physical
ways, similar to engineers. In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew
Crawford opened my eyes to the creativity and problem solving of the
type of hands that find themselves in the trades. He doesn't speak
much about the crafts, except in a hobby sense. But in the trades,
like being a mechanic for instance, you don't have the self important
airs about you, that you associate with artists. But Crawford
romanticizes motorcycle mechanics too.
There are age old systematic approaches to creativity, that
try to capture the youthful eye of the child. ( I was trying to speak
about it before we got side tracked by the personal stuff.)
In the article I've been working on, I explain how tea
ceremony was expressly developed, and everything about it is all about
clearing your head of the rat race, and bringing you back to the
moment, like we experienced as children. You don't become a child,
but you combine the positive aspects of youth and being an adult.
The tea ceremony effected the fine arts in Japan. What Yanagi,
Hamada and Leach were trying to do, is bring back a similar
perspective and similar perspective to the crafts. Certainly,
ceramics was effected by tea. But rather than looking at the tea
master/connoisseur's life, in Mingei, Leach , Yanagi and Hamada were
looking at the life of the craftsman. Hamada and Leach were
specifically interested in bringing those lessons into the life of the
new hybrid path of the studio craftsman.
More later! Gotta grab lunch.
Lee, a Mashiko potter in Minneapolis
=3D93Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel
the artistry moving through and be silent.=3D94 --Rumi