[Clayart] WWW on pottery - what bothers me

Vince Pitelka vpitelka at dtccom.net
Thu Jan 12 17:37:11 EST 2017

Thanks for that Bruce.  I really appreciate your point of view on the subject of web addresses on the bottoms of pots.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
vpitelka at dtccom.net  

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com] On Behalf Of Girrell, Bruce
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 9:41 AM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: [Clayart] WWW on pottery - what bothers me

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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