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wes/blessed by tea bowls/chinese glazes

updated wed 20 oct 04


mel jacobson on tue 19 oct 04

i loved wes' post.
and, i am getting the book.

i have always been awe/struck by real japanese
tea bowls..chawan. i have seen many.
held many.
i held three of mr. hamada's very favorite bowls.
i have never taken this part of clay lightly.

now, working with joe, and the origin of tea bowls...the
jiang chinese bowls, i sometimes have a very strange
feeling that comes over me. and, i am not being goofey
here, or let's all hold hands sort of thing. it is like
a responsibility. it is like a rare and wonderful privilege
to be a part of this. i know joe feels the same.
we know now that we have the system in place. we can
do it over and over. we have hundreds of pots with three
glazes that we love, and many more with lesser results.
(not much less.)

the written article is on sherman hall's desk.
slides are done. show at the `american museum of ceramics` in
california is set for spring. those of you that come to the clayart
room in baltimore will see twelve new bowls, and one old jiang bowl.
joe and i have decided we will have folks in a circle, pass them around.
folks have to touch them.

i have one hundred pieces ready for tenmoku glaze as of today.
(had to do a stoneware firing yesterday, christmas sale pots)

for the first time i am going to make the glaze with
materials from my studio. see what happens. i have been
using glazes that joe made, and shipped to me. the big test
will be if we can take////off the shelf//// materials and get
the same results. still using his clay, but i have re/cycled
three bodies and have them blended. all clay bodies have been
sent through my pug mill before using. (never have been able
to use bag clay. pug it first.)

anyway. as joe and i say often. this is work for older
people. a potter that is 70. a mature chemist.
we can see many things going on.
many. there are levels of responsibility. some is just work, some
is historical, but a great deal is emotional. when i open the kilns
with the tenmoku glazes i really almost shudder. my hands shake
just a bit. les haworth at laguna said he cried. held them, turned
them in the sun and cried.

so wes, yes, we are blessed. clay, history, different cultures, different
times. it is all to be studied, admired, and then studied some
more. we are all in a line, years of potters, clay folks, menandwomen
as one, old, middle and young. potters all. those that love process,
skill, art, design and the need to make things.
we are all brown children/loving clay. some are even indigo.
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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