[Clayart] - Being a Potter

David Woof woofpots at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 28 11:35:48 EDT 2014

Hi Dave, Everyone,  
It is true that other life activities can enrich and inform our work in clay as Dave says.  We have many notable examples of such.  Toshiko, in talking about her urban life said that if one "must" live several stories up and urban, one could still keep a couple chickens and potted veggies on the balcony if "farming" would add value to their life.  

I have learned not to tolerate "circumstances" as controllers or victimizers of my life or destiny.    When someone repeats the old worn "well under the circumstances" I think (and have emphatically asked at times) "well what are you doing under there anyway?"  
At some level we choose our circumstances by what we do with events that happen, or choices we make or fail to make.  Change is always possible if we are willing to value what it will bring at what ever cost is demanded.  Who really has an unwanted anchor surgically grafted to their posterior anatomy?  Yet it is OK to want and have many things if we are willing to bear the costs of the trade offs.  If change is necessary to get us where we know we should be, no matter how tough or temporarily painful, what further question needs to be asked?

Enough can never be said about being willing to move to where materials, and affordable living space is available.  The market is everywhere we are willing to develop it with solid work, evidence of our passion, and educating our potential patrons. There is a showmanship that goes with profitable engagement in the arts.   
Folks laboring in bondage to a materialistic social system need, are starving for, contact with the vitality of our passion and the work that is a tangible representation of our artfully spirited life.  They get some of what we have, and are inspired by association if even for the moment.  And if the work is well crafted they return.

"Functional Pottery" a snobbishly disdained idea, in some minds, will always provide income if it functions as expected in an appealing form.  And if/when one learns to market.   It's 60/40 between our personality and our work.   It's us they buy, it's our work they get to take home.

Back to snobbish distain over fermentation crocks, yarn bowls, baked bean pots, mugs, bowls and butter bells;  selling how many of these will it take to outsell a piece of that nifty chunk of conceptual "story teller" clay and feathers that is selling slow or isn't selling; but that establishes one as an "Artist" because it is warehoused in a Gallery???   
Yes I have some very well received sculptures in galleries.  (these sell from time to time)   But out of necessity I must make things that folks use everyday and for special occasions.  When I say "must out of necessity" the necessity is not to pay the bills and buy food... but of my necessity to make tangible and useable objects of domestic utility.  

Accessible both for folks who can't afford the high end "art" and also for the fat wallets who can, will, and do.   Imagine the hard laboring person who gives up cigarettes and a few beers for one day so as to be able to watch many uncounted sunrises over the steaming rim of a mug they bought, or the wealthy person contentedly contemplating a $50,000.00, U.S., sculpture over the steaming rim of an early morning mug purchased during a coffee stop at the same Farmers Market in Port Orford while on their way back down the 101 to LA.   Since the same pleasure center in the brain was stimulated in both events, one can assume both experienced similar contentment during that brief lost in the moment enjoyment.

Maria Martinez said it most beautifully "I am for People" and she lived her life that way.

If we live our life within the style and comforts our art will afford us, rather than attempt to force production to support unrealistic expectations, the life of a potter is within reach of those who "must at all costs." 

There have been some very good posts in the Clayart discussion thread  "where have all the Potters gone."   Included but not directly addressed was a broad range regarding the definition of who is a potter. Suffice to say the field is represented as wide open and rightly so. Let's leave it so.   I think they should be bound into a read again Chap Book for distribution.  

Me, I have pots to make, beans to bake, love for the plucking from my own private tree.

Thanks y'all,

David ThingMaker-Woof......... Eat local, buy local, love local, pot local....... that's pot local, not local pot!!! well what ever!!! <(;>0)=={--------<

> From: irpagan at hotmail.com
> To: clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
> Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 17:19:41 +0000
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] - Being a Potter
> Personally I knew from the moment my hands touched clay that is what I wanted to do with my life. Circumstance, called "Life" has gotten in the way of that dream but it hasn't stopped my love of clay nor the wheel from spinning.  Shoji Hamada said we are a sum of our experiences, thus what we are we bring to clay.  I think sometimes some folk tend to forget that  -- just because I can think of "other" things than clay doesn't mean I won't be a fulltime potter. It just means I have to keep trucking down that road to reach the end goal. For some the goal of potter comes easy for others its harder, and some will never achieve it but that doesn't mean they shouldn't strive for it. -Dave
> Between the waking and dreaming there lies reality.
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