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serious wood firing(long)

updated thu 16 feb 06


mel jacobson on wed 15 feb 06

E's note just added a great deal of fuel
to my ideas and attitudes on firing, wood kilns, salt and gas.

a potter decides, makes decisions based on
their own aesthetic. you must start with a serious
quest, an idea, a set of standards. then you build
clay, glaze and firing around those standards.

many have it wrong.

`i want a gas kiln, gonna buy a new one...then...`does
anyone have a good cone 10 recipe for oatmeal?` i think
i am going to open a gallery.``

these are the statements and ideas that drive experienced,
hard working potters nuts. it is what makes folks cranky
here on clayart. elizabeth has a quest. an idea to improve
her work and aesthetic. she wants to move forward and is
willing to do the work and the hard parts to make it happen.
it delights me to help her.

when i crab at kelly, it is never about being a woman, a mom,
or being a part time potter...she is talented, very serious and that
is what i want her to be and say. stand up and be counted as
a potter. a serious, talented, hard working woman potter.
and, she is.

every time i see or hear anyone making fun of being a potter,
artist, painter it galls me. much of that attitude comes right
from the mouths of artists/craft is what i crab about.
`oh, i just play with clay, never serious, it is my outlet my
muse`.` bullshit.
those folks that made that ad knew they could make fun of us.
they knew it. and, who would care? just a few silly potters.
what is the direction of humor on tv? white, male, silly men. you can
make fun of them all you want, make them buffoons, but never
make fun of anyone else...hell, they will kill you. making fun of potters
was just too easy.

well, i am a potter, never silly about it...i am damn proud of what
i do and how i do it, i am damn proud of the men and women that
work in clay and have a million years of history that makes us what
we are. the world's oldest craft. and clay is one of the most complex
entities on this earth. every great society has clay to thank for their
very greatness. even today...silica science, related to computer silica
chip speed
and power is clay based. `super conductivity` is going to be totally
clay based when the problem is finally solved.

if we think of ourselves as cutting edge science, new world ideas
instead of `metaphor of the menstrual cycle`. we have a chance.
but, if we continue to make art the world laughs at, thinks we are
insane...well, we get what is coming to us.

what is so awful about an art show full of real pots?. functional, real
ready to use pots? what do we get? metaphor. `well this
teapot does not pour, and it has nine handles, but you are too dumb
to know what i am talking, clear off. i am a smarty pants artist
that knows more than anyone else. oh, the price is $2,856.00. oh, you
don't want to buy it? fine, who cares?
bullshit times two. and we wonder why the radio ad makes fun
of a kid that wants to be a potter? hmmm.

it is time to stand up and be counted. we do craft, we do fine art.
we should make a difference in this world. be proud of being a crafts person.
skill, knowledge, understanding of materials, then a quest for fine aesthetic
traditions. and then enter into the world of commerce.
we have thousands of years of models to look at. nothing
wrong with that, and nothing wrong with borrowing a few aesthetic
concepts. it may be early american, 15th century england, 17th century
lamoge` or meisen- german. or perhaps chinese or japanese and of course
mexico, any time.
lots to look at and think about. the models of our traditions.
it is what art does not cannot look at or be another tradition.
you always have to be `just you`...all new. (or the current trend, that
is now 60 years old.)
l love being a potter and looking at my roots. being a part of the
root system that made us. and damn proud of it.
and, you will see the result of that work in portland.
50 pots, ready to use, put a pork roast on, a batch of pasta in.
8 paintings of what i see near the sea. my aesthetic.
i put it out there. no fear.
Center Space Gallery/Portland
420 SE 6th AV. 97219 / 503.239.7657

from mel/