[Clayart] one eyed jack

Dannon Rhudy dannon at ccrtc.com
Wed Jan 1 08:12:29 EST 2014

Mel said:

......he was basically blind in his right eye.

he kept going, 
.........he kept driving...how he survived we do not know.
he would dash into hay creek, drive over pots, sticks
and anything in his wake......

Indeed, he did all of those things.  Before I knew that he
could not see from one eye at all, I was conscripted to go
to Minneapolis with him from Hay Creek, to pick up something
he needed - don't remember what.  But I certainly remember
the trip.  Once we left the mostly empty rural roads, got
on the freeway - I was petrified.  He was calm - but simply
asked me to look for this or that exit, while he was leaping
from lane to lane free of the constraints of depth-perception.
It seemed to me that we ran all over the city for hours,
escaping by the skin of our teeth time after time.  We weren't
there all that long, but it seemed more than long.  Seemed
endless.  Nonetheless, we got whatever it was, made it back.

Kurt was very precise in many ways, kept notes on every firing,
every glaze (he was a glaze wizard, and notebooks filled with
not only glazes but each step to arrive at each glaze, firing
notes, everything).  Indeed, Kurt kept notes on almost everything.
He did not seem to like surprises, wanted things precise, neat,

But personally, and apparently unknowingly, he was reckless,
fearless, and jumped into everything without considering consequences.
Once we were firing a fairly haphazard kiln, and had attached an
extra piece of pipe to lengthen the stack, for better draw.  
About midway through the firing, when the kiln was around 2,000F,
one of the guy wires broke, and the stack started to tilt.  Kurt
pulled on a pair of gloves and started climbing up the side of
the kiln to "fix" it.  We had to pull him off, he was very annoyed.
We figured another way to add a wire to the stack, but Kurt was
merely irritated to be interfered with. Saw no reason not to stand
on a 2,000 degree pile of not too stable brick to achieve his ends.

With all that, he was as kind and generous a person as could be,
and full of fun, humor, laughter.  But never hesitated to complain,
as Mel noted.  I was lucky to know him.


Dannon Rhudy

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