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raku and function

updated sat 3 mar 12


mel jacobson on fri 2 mar 12

just another thought.
most folks now days use frits as the base for
raku. if they get a good melt there is no reason
they cannot function.

the biggest issue is the fragile nature of the work.
they just cannot take a hit in the sink, or a smack
around the rim. they are fragile.

we use bob anderson's raku plates all the time
to serve dry food, or use them as holders for
things...very nice.

my take has always been....when i make some sort
of replica/tea bowl, oriental influence....i don't like
seeing my raku bowls used for chip and dip. not the intent.

i know...if folks buy them, they can use them..but
it is just a subtle thing. you know, if you are serious about
a form, or should be used as intended.
i do not put out teabowls in a sale of my work.
i have them on a high shelf, and if folks want to talk about
them...then it is ok. i give them a small history about what
they are, how they are used. in fact, in most cases i `give`
teabowls to collectors or people with knowledge of japanese
tea ceremony. give the bowls a good home. i sure don't make
those bowls to make money. it is memory i made
many of them in japan in the uchida studio. many for him and many
for my own exhibitions. ( i did 8 shows in japan...
one very nice one at the american embassy in kyoto( solo), and a big solo
show in tokyo.)

all the shows featured my own teabowl ideas. but, then...i was
doing this in the country of origin, and did not pretend to be a
tea master/expert. just a simple interpretation by a foreign
person. all that i expected was a simple...`hey, nice job pal,
but you have a long way to go.` telling experienced japanese
potters how to make teabowls would be like me telling tom brady
how to throw a football. it is a good time to keep the mouth shut.

many of the clayart family have been very clear about what
a teabowl is, and how it is made, and how it must be respected.
just because you make a small bowl of raku does not mean
it has anything to do with tea ceremony. it might as well be
used for chip and dip.

and, without question, make all you want, use them for whatever
you rules or laws. just don't pretend you know all about
it. it is a very complex issue.
speaking of holding work...i have held hundreds of famous
japanese tea ceremony tea bowls. they are magical. they
do run shivers up your spine. at least they do for me.

we will hold a tea ceremony celebration for kurt at the farm
this summer. yuki is a semi-master, and has studied for 30 years
and will do it in kurt's honor. there will not be a dry eye in camp.
we will bury some of kurt's memory things near Andrea's grave
and susan nebecker's memory spot. three amazing talents lost
for all time.
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