[Clayart] Copying,stealing and honoring

Gayle Bair gayle at claybair.com
Fri Jul 15 12:30:41 EDT 2016


Thank you for sharing your very well thought out feelings in your posting.
I'm of the opinion that you do not have to make any concessions or
explanations when making the pots that are so close to your heritage. That
you sign and date them is proof that you are not trying to pass them off as
"authentic ones from yesteryear".
Clearly those attacking you do not realizing that you are carrying on a
tradition and keeping it alive! That's exactly what the attackers need to
know. So I hope you take that moment with pride and educate them.
I believe that if we didn't repeat what came before us there would be no
understanding & no way or reason to carry on a tradition or take it to the
next step.
I treasure my grandmother & mother's cookbook. It's one of the few precious
tangible things I have left of them. My grandmother dictated the recipes
and mom wrote them down in a notebook. It's worn, falling apart but when I
touch it.... this 70 year old is transported to the late 1940s and there I
am a toddler sitting under the kitchen table playing with toys and
listening to their chatter and laughter. What a great memory!!!! I am only
one in my family that could come close to making those recipes!


Gayle Bair Pottery
gayle at claybair.com

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 11:19 AM, Tommy Humphries via Clayart <
clayart at lists.clayartworld.com> wrote:

> In the world of pottery that I come from, there was no allowance for
> individuality. We had a catalogue of pots that we made, and each had to be
> made within certain specifications or it was rejected. If two potters
> happened to be making the same form, occasionally the supervisor would swap
> pots between our boards to view them side by side, making sure they were
> almost identical.
> As I grew as a potter, this helped, and also hindered my growth. It
> helped, because it had given me the skills to recreate any form that I saw,
> it hindered because my mind wasn't trained to come up moth its own ideas.
> I began to use this to my advantage by recreating on the wheel each and
> every pot that appealed to me. By mastering these multitudes of forms I
> began to combine them, and alter them, finally making forms from my own
> imagination. But we're they really? If you take six totally different
> teapots and take a component of each and reassemble it into your own
> teapot, is it copying or stealing? Or are those six teapots your
> inspiration?
> I love to make face jugs. They are a part of my clay heritage, as many of
> my clay ancestors came from Alabama , Georgia and Mississippi, where they
> originated. I haven't sold any, most that I make are given as gifts. All
> are clearly signed and dated on the bottom, so that there is no confusion
> between these and the "authentic" ones from yesteryear.  Still, I have been
> accused of copying and deception, but so be it. Not representing any pot I
> make as anything it's not.
> I try to honor my ancestors, who turned clay before me, to try to
> understand how they worked, and how they lived. I know that I will never
> really "get" how it was for them, the life they lived was so vastly more
> difficult than ours today. Even if we try to emulate the struggles, at the
> end of the day we still go home to our a/c and our tv's and computers,
> where they went home, ate a bite and went to bed and rested a bit to be
> ready for the next day's toil.
> Tommy
> Sent from my iPhone
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