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cm's wonderful cover

updated sat 3 apr 04


Vince Pitelka on fri 2 apr 04

Melissa wrote:
"I was flip when I said it is "Puke-O-rama". Claudi Casanovas isn't telling
us anything we don't know about earthy texture or clay itself. His works
says, "Geology is way cool!" sorry, we know that. What I want to see from
the artist is
that texture pushed beyond geological forms. Take that texture and show us a
figure- perhaps a torso of a man or the back of a lizard-show us how we
emerged from harsh, cold broken rock to be the warm, breathing, living
beings we are. Casanovas is simply producing lifeless geodes, just like our
planet has been doing quite brilliantly for billions of years. It is not art
to copy nature; art makes a statement beyond the obvious that relates to the
viewer as a human being."

Melissa -
Whoa. Oh, goodness, where to start. Lifeless geodes? Can you possible be
serious? Has there ever been a pot or sculpture as beautiful as the finest
geode? Not hardly. Not in your wildest dreams. An artist can emmulate
geological forms, but no artist can push beyond geological forms. No work
of humankind will ever even remotely approach the beauty of nature. That is
a given fact, and anyone who believe otherwise is delusional. Good for us
for trying to emmulate the beauty of nature, but all we can do is strive
towards this entirely unreachable ideal.

The work in question in CM is a bit awkward, but THANK GOD it pushes the
envelope and has inspired us to engage in this dialogue. This work is
exciting and unusual, and even if it is awkward, it is far better than the
same old status quo that so often graces the covers of craft magazines. I
love CM, and I commend them for always being willing to take chances. Those
who have belittled the current issue of CM are certainly free to express
their opinions, but ultimately I think they are missing the point. There is
much to be excited about in this issue, and in most issues. CM is the one
of the leading ceramics magazines in the world, and it has earned and
deserves that recognition.

But it's okay to disagree, to slam it, to belittle it. We all need to do
that now and then, for whatever reason, and CM can take it.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111,