[Clayart] Snail, Chris object

Douglas Fur 23drb50 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 11:41:49 EDT 2016

I would differentiate between object and thing. An object is the product of
meaningless work, (ie an industrial product in which the worker is
alienated from Its making.) whereas a thing is the product of meaningful
work ( a craft product in which the worker is personally involved in its

An object can be considered immoral in that it represents the production
worker's state of alienation but it's appearance is amoral due to the
factisity of the alienation of the worker from the making process.

The meaning of a thing is truthful in that it is the embodiment of the
worker's state of being involved in the making process.

If the worker is being deceitful in the making process "I am a 16th C
Korean Potter making a rice bowl." the truth of the thing will depend on
how well the worker is being deceitful. (The more accurately the worker
mimics the Korean potter's work process the closer the truth of that thing
will be to the truth of the thing made by the old Korean Potter.)*

The morality of it depends more on how the object is represented. I've
noticed this on "Antiques Roadshow" where it seems like 99% of the
pre-Columbian American pots are fakes and the expert says "Well if this had
been a real one it would be worth $50,million but as a 'decorative object's
it's worth $50." (Notice how commercial language uses "object" not
"thing".) I look at the thing and think "that's a nice pot except where
they spattered oxides on it to make it look old."

The truth of the thing is that it's a nice pot and it has been made to look
old. Both are true. The morality lies in how it was represented, was it
sold as a pre-Columbian pot or a replica.

Martin Heidegger wrote about the nature of things. ( I think he blew it on
the art/craft dilemma.) His language is personal and arcane. A paraphrase
of a sentence reads in part "as there is happening of truth at working
work, so there is happening of truth at work in things,". Which I think
sounds good but...? (http://philpapers.org/rec/COLHOT-4)

The preceding phrase reads "Thing serves to reveal/ conceal at each step
the reciprocal nature of the World thing, and World serves to
reveal/conceal thing;"

I think these revelations in the dialogue between world and thing is the
heart of our craft is. That our making of things from the stuff of the
world (earth, air, fire and water) reveals truth about us as beings and
makers of things in the world and truth about World.

Seola Creek

* A friend posted this on FB last night.

My First reaction was "oh gawd some hippie chick from California knocking
off native Americans." Then I watched her process and changed my mind. The
deciding step was her starting a fire by hand twirling a stick against
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