Ric Swenson on wed 25 apr 12
or in Mandarin
'da jia hao'
now read this book....
(try FEAR AND ART...ISBN 0-88496-379-9 by Bayles and Orland... (why=
do you make your art? and who gives a shit?.... do you?)
maybe I tried to read BEOWOLF and IVANHOE in 8th grade..but in HS I was mu=
ch enamoured with Shakespeare and Milton...and in college with Lao Tzu..and=
Gandi.....a cup of tea....
Loved A TALE OF TWO CITIES and LES MESERABLES...and Homer and understood th=
em all in context.
or 'three cups of tea' lately.
Afganistan....what a mess. eh?
and the Bible too. Old and New Testaments.
and the Koran...
and Carlton Ball's books on Ceramics....and Rhodes...Olsen and Hamer, Fourn=
ier, Glenn c. Nelson..... and taking to Pete voulkos and Margarite Wildenh=
ein....and others, and all my grad school teachers....epecially Ken Stevens=
and Fred Olen and F C Ball......
for now...as I spend a lot of time painting landscapes on canvas....in acry=
lics as my mentor at Bennington College did..Helen Frankenthaler...
and other influences...Larry Rivers and Robert Rauschenberg
and spend some time doing clay work in the form of covered jars....with lo=
ts of texture....and celadons or temoku color..
my History. Wings and forms with wings. My obsessions. my personal statemen=
ts...my own personal works...as my landscapes are personal.... mountains...=
the power and thrust..and color.
greetings from the porcelain capital.
the greenware strength of the clay here is quite astounding....hard to thro=
w thin ......but easy to trim it so. Like paper thin...translucent and qui=
cone 13 gas fired kilns...now mostly fiber.
there are several types of porcelain here...7 or 8 grades....then there is=
Tian Bao stoneware...a cone 8 brick clay...dark and iron enriched. I mix t=
he two sometimes to make stoneware, thinnly thown pieces.
LPG..... not natural gas type. Liquified petroleum gas. They use it here =
to cook foods and firing kilns.
I'm enjoying life here. It is different than the USA....or Europe for that=
WE HAVE A 158 m2 condo overlooking the civil kiln at HUTIAN ( civil kil=
n used in Yuan and Song Dynasty about a thousand years ago )....kinda cool =
to be surrounded by such history.........on the east side of JDZ...alongsid=
e the Chang Jiang River...... a tributary of the YangTze River...where the =
blue and white pottery once flowed by small ships to Europe in 1500-1900..=
.. and continues today. but by truck and ship today.
The river today is almost at flood level...due to heavy rains yesterday.
Good thing they built those dikes last year....
now to digress..
busses here are an interesting thing...pay 1 yuan... ...crowded...inconveni=
ent...or maybe not so much (16 cents US...go anywhere in the city... But t=
o get on..? no line...just crowd to the front...rude and crude...but the C=
hinese way eh?
or a taxi is min. 6 yuan...or about a buck...faster but you always wonder i=
f the "OHSHIT" handle will hold you if you crash into another car....or a =
building....or?? just hold on. a wonderful ride in chaos.
I prefer my 1969 bicycle...just know the "rules " of the road....you are ON=
LY responsible for anything in FRONT of you. Free right turns are the rul=
e and U turns are expected at any time. Cross at the green light? nah.=
..look first...anyone with a car or bus or truck or motorcycle ASSUMES they=
have the right of way? pedestrians here are at the bottom of the food cha=
in....so to speak...hehe
as Satchel Paige said " Never look back...you never know what is gaining on=
you"....I saw him pitch in 1966... he pitch from 1926 til 1966 in the majo=
r leaques black and then white leagues...quite amazing guy at that age..=
.he died in 1982. A legend in baseball and my hero. a right hander that co=
uld put the ball anywhere he wanted...at a speed HE decided.
Wish I could do that in clay.
skill is developed by practice...'learning is repetition without irritation=
...education is reading and writing and recitation...it is also intuitive a=
nd creative.. and thinking OUTSIDE those boxes some of our teachers learned=
and then later taught us.
It is , as mel has so oft told us...
so just do it.
making a repair to an engine is simple...rebuilding an engine is challengin=
g...inventing a new engine is a life's work...will it be solar? or Hydogen?=
or what we can only imagine in the future?
learn from doing..over and over.. but invent from your mind.
uffa da! or
ai youh !
enjoy the journey,