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young artists, was brushing my teeth

updated thu 16 aug 01


gregg lindsley on tue 14 aug 01

Tony -

You bring up a point that has been bothering me
for sometime, although for other reasons. In this age
of paper plates and styrofoam cups, how in the world
is the craft of functional potting going to continue?
How can we get young people interested in taking on
this work, which is very demanding, and also keep the
publics interest up? It wasn't too long ago that the
potter provided an essential service to the community.
Today we are making luxury items.
For those of us who have clay in our blood and
can't get it out, we know what the the interest is, we
know what the reality of it is, we know why we do it.
But as it gets harder and harder to get started,
as you point out, and as there are so many things for
young people to start out with, I worry that there
will be fewer and fewer who will become infected and
continue the work. As Kevin Hulch points out, If no
one speaks the language, the language dies.
When I get into this funk, I remember that good
work speaks for itself, as Micheal Wednt and Mel point
out. That when someone does become infected with
clay, it's usually, in some way, for life. That for a
lot of people, a good pot is worth way more than
plastic or paper. And that potting is an honorable way
of life.
So I make it point to educate the people that I
come into contact with about this craft. I live the
excitement that potting give me, and share the
experience with as many as are willing. My booth has a
picture section where people can see and learn about
the process. I wore a name tag to the SF ACC show
this last weekend, which had my business name, and
'The Potters Council' on it,(of which I am a member),
and a question asking 'Are you a claybud?" Lots of
people asked my what a claybud was, and most of the
potters there knew little or nothing about the
council. A good opportunity to share.
Then my worry turns to the perception that there
is no way folks working to make functional work will
ever pass away. It is just too fantastic a thing to
It's one of the few addictions I have that I am
thankful for. And I know I'm not the only one.

Kind Regards

Gregg Allen Lindsley
Earth and Fire Pottery
10325 Brookside Drive
Whispering Pines, Ca 95426

Where the hot summer is just about over, and the
first skiing magazine of the season arrived in the
mail yesterday. Yeah!
> Chris and others: I knew this was going to get some
> gotchies in a twist.
> Many clayarters waited for me to report on my
> experience as Artist in
> Residence at Medalta. I was unable to because I got
> into a major funk about
> the future of clay for young people. I address it in
> the next issue of Clay
> times.
> In my area of Ontario it costs at least a quarter
> million for an old house,
> a slum in Toronto is $300,000. then what about a
> studio????? Students are
> being taught in art school to make a life like
> penis. they are not being
> taught to make a living. I am happy for those of
> you with a cushion in your
> life. I am worried about the art student saying
> "would you like fries with
> that" all day and trying to make pots at night till
> he/she gets tired and
> postpones the career in clay until they meet prince
> charming or work a job
> for 30 years looking out the window and dreaming
> about their pots.
> Sheila says I vent my frustrations on clayart. I do.
> You get the anger and
> the tenderness. I wear my feelings on my sleeve.
> I liked the post about supporting the habit. I hope
> the habit supports the
> maker in a second career. Maybe not with dollar
> bills but with purpose in
> life. I guess that is payment enough.
> If it makes you feel any better i capitalized my
> home and studio with the
> money Sheila and I made teaching- me Marketing and
> her Grade 1. I have lived
> off my pots for the past dozen years but thank god
> for the other jobs. We
> would never have made it. I don't see how anyone
> could. that is sad for the
> profession.
> cheers,
> Tony
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