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fw: what is classically trained?

updated mon 19 apr 10


Randall Moody on sun 18 apr 10

I meant to send this to the list also. Sorry.

Subject: Re: what is Classically trained?

On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM, Dayton Grant

Could you describe "classically trained"? Apprenticeship?
The guild system in Europe?

>I got this definition from Wikipedia

>Classical antiquity is a long period of history centered on the
Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of Ancient
Greece and Ancient Rome. This period is conventionally taken to stretch fro=
roughly the 7th or 8th century BC to the 5th century AD. It is often seen a=
a >golden age of Western civilisation, preceding the Dark Ages of the early
medieval period.

>But what I mean specifically by 'classically trained' is trained to most
efficiently throw the most common and popular shapes of the classical era
(from around 500 B.C.) like the Kylix, Panathenaic Amphora, Neck Amphora,
Alabastron, Arballos, Kantharos, Oinochoe, Krater , etc. , which
>incidentally, were thrown with very firm clay and little water, as this is
the only way to throw these large thin shapes in one piece without taking a=
inordinate amount of time on each piece. It's just what I was taught and ho=
I was trained, I could be mistaken about how important this is >for a moder=
ceramic education. But I was led to believe that it is 'very' important, an=
I tried to look up classical Chinese pottery and they don't call 'anything'
of theirs 'classical' but what the West refers to as their 'classics' are
usually the best things from the various dynasties. I tend to >consider a
Ginger Jar a classic Chinese shape. And I believe every modern potter
>especially a college teacher should be able to execute and demonstrate the
choreography of this fairly easy shape and its fitting lid, actually all of
the Greek shapes I mentioned above also.

Why? We have no use for those forms as far as being used for what they were
intended. Those forms, while pleasing, hold no purpose now. Requiring
someone to be facile in those forms is akin to making all wood workers make
buggy whips and wagon wheels and all ornamental blacksmiths be farriers. I=
we take it to the 'A'rt realm one does not need to paint like Rembrandt to
render a Rothko. This isn't to say that we can dismiss the history that is
part of our chosen field but a NASA engineer doesn't need a working
knowledge of an abacus or now even a slide rule.

Randall in Atlanta