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tiles and pots

updated wed 27 oct 99


Linda Blossom on tue 26 oct 99

I have just come back from the tile symposium in Erie and I think the
potters have been influencing my thinking. It does a body good to look at a
lot of something, I suppose. There were many sites to see - old work that
was installed all over Erie. Many were scenes over water fountains in
public schools. They remind me of a picture and quotation, from the book
"The Meaning of Life" that I have in my library to remind me of why I do
what I do. It is a picture of a woman, in an African village, decorating
the outside of her home with what I imagine are natural dyes. The quotation
is "Beautifying the spaces in which we live makes life more bearable." The
tiles in Erie were inspiration to do what I do, but not to do it in the way
the craftspeople did then. I found, after seeing many tiles and
installations that I do not want to paint pictures on clay. I thought the
tiles and installation in Seville were beautiful but the tiles that moved me
most were the square field tiles by Mercer in a catholic church. Perhaps it
was the color variations, perhaps the irregular, imperfect edges and sides.
Whatever it was, they spoke without trying hard. They reminded me of the
graceful cup that Mel made and the intricate surfaces of the cups and teapot
from Tony Clennell. These surfaces are integral to the piece - not painted
on, but rather a result of the people and their methods. So it was the
square tiles spoke to me with more strength than the octagons, pictures, or
detailed relief images. I suppose I will continue processing this symposium
and what it showed me about myself and my own inclinations in the medium for
a while to come.
Linda Blossom
2366 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850