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big questions---art/ talent/ craft

updated fri 20 aug 04


Jon Pacini on wed 18 aug 04

Greetings All--- surprise---I have something to say on The Big
Questions ---for what it s worth:-)

Art, Talent and Craft ----Seems to me it s a triangle. Like a triaxial
blend. You can be way out on any one of the three points, 100%, or you can
be some where out in the middle, 33-33-33%.

Bob Hope is a good, if not traditional, example of someone who is/was a
Talented Artist Craftsman. Bob knew his jokes; he had hundreds of thousands
of them on file. As a wordsmith he was an unsurpassed Craftsman. He honed
his god given Talent for turning a phrase with the twinkle of an eye and
that curl of the lip, with hundreds of hours spent on the vaudeville stage.
And anyone, who ever heard him, knew he had plenty to say. He did it well, a
real Artist/Craftsman. He occupies a point on the blend

To me, Artists have something to say. Something to say about light,
something to say about volume, something to say about society. Talented
Artists communicate it very well thru their chosen medium. With a
well-Crafted piece of Art, the materials of the chosen medium have been very
deftly manipulated. This occupies a point on the blend.

Traditionally, Craftsmen make objects of utilitarian use. A talented
Craftsman knows his tools/materials well and manipulates them in a
recognizably deft manner. A potter, generally considered a craftsman by
trade, can transcend the borders of craftsmanship/art by, for example,
distilling the essence of the teapot and representing it in an abstract way
or presenting it to the viewer as a visual narrative of what the teapot
concept means to the craftsman/artist or how it relates to a given society
in a given situation. At that point, even thought technically a teapot, it
becomes a sculpture an object of Art. This occupies a point on the blend.

You can have the god given Talent to be a weekend potter, the eye hand
coordination, the knack for sitting down and making a pot. But to be
recognized as a Craftsman, it takes the Skills and Knowledge that only come
with time. And to be an Artist, you have to have something to say. If you
can somehow put it all together, then you re Bob Hope. This occupies a point
on the blend.

And if you don t know what a triaxial blend is, then you need to work on the
point that you occupy.:-)

Best regards
Jon Pacini
Clay Manager
Laguna Clay Co.

looking forward to the Woodfire Conference-------see ya all soon

Ivor and Olive Lewis on thu 19 aug 04

Dear Jon Pacini,
You say of Bob Hope,....."Bob knew his jokes; he had hundreds of
thousands of them on file. As a wordsmith he was an unsurpassed
I recall it being said during a documentary on the life of Bob Hope, a
Comedian I admire immensely, that he employed a school of gag writers,
ten or more of them. As a comedian, his creativity (Craft talent if
you wish!) was his ability to manipulate the timing of his delivery.
This was especially true of his classic "One Liners".
Best regards,
Ivor Lewis.
S. Australia.