[Clayart] WWW on pottery - what bothers me

Chris Foxwell christopherfoxwell at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 11:42:37 EST 2017


That's an interesting take on the fleeting nature of the internet.  But, in
the same vein if our name isn't Volkous or Hamada aren't we just as
ephemeral?   The pot may last forever but will Joe Smith's scrawl on the
bottom really mean anything to most anyone?

Assuming one can even make out the signature.    I'm sure I've picked up
many fewer pots than most, but when I turn them over to look for a
signature or mark to confirm they are handmade ninety percent of the time I
can't read it.    And,  while the crisp distinct lettering of a stamp has
the appearance of mass produced work, it does allow me to figure out where
it actually came from.

There are Rodin sculptures in practically every museum on the planet.  Each
one has "A Rodin" inscribed on it.  If one were to upend each one and find
the address to his long closed workshop would it make the work any less?
On Jan 12, 2017 10:56 AM, "Girrell, Bruce" <bigirrell at microlinetc.com>
wrote:

> It took me a while. Reading the goings back and forth regarding the merits
> of having a web address on your pottery, I could understand the points
> being made from each position, but something still bugged me about putting
> that web address there. Something seemed wrong, and I couldn't put my
> finger on it.
>
> Today it finally hit me. Ceramics are about as close as we get to
> immortality. Archaeologists dig up ceramic objects with inscriptions that
> are thousands of years old. To some extent, the potter gets to share. When
> we look at a pot by Hamada or even the raw form of a stack by Volkous, we
> can still feel the presence of the work's creator. Ceramic objects last
> through the ages.
>
> Websites are virtual in the most basic sense of the word. They do not
> exist; they merely appear to be there. They are ephemeral; they come and
> they go. They are a direct antithesis to the permanence of ceramic objects.
> That is what seemed so wrong to me. Putting something that is meaningful
> only for a brief moment in time on an object that lasts so long. Even from
> a practical standpoint, when your website address changes, what are you
> going to do about all those pots with the wrong URL on them?
>
> I'm not currently making pottery, but should I resume, I will not put a
> web address on my work. I most likely will apply a (non-permanent) sticker
> printed with my current web address, QR code or whatever else becomes
> available in the future.
>
> Bruce Girrell
>
>
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