[Clayart] women started clay work

Mahaffey, Rick rmahaffey at tacomacc.edu
Fri Apr 20 14:15:44 EDT 2018

Your statement that women started clay is something I was taught and maintained and tell my students.

I have an undergraduate degree in clay and glass and I noticed the difference in the way Clay artists share and glass artists tend to, shall we say, share less.   I attribute that to the fact that women started working with clay and tended to work together in a more equal basis and clay work goes back about 20,000 years.   Glass on the other hand started around 2,000 years ago  (I know the Egyptians made glass vessels but those were formed around a sand/clay core) and was started by men.   Glass people will say, we work as a team each bench has many team members.  That is true but there is one journeyman (or master), gatherers, and punty (puntil)  boys (if the term boy doesn't tell you about class distinctions it should), and so on.

Potters share techniques, glazes, clay formulas, and many things.  The glass world tends to be more secretive in my experience.

I attribute potter's desire to share and teach stemming from the tradition started by women long, long ago.

Remember YMMV,

Rick Mahaffey
Ceramics dept.
Tacoma, Community College
6501 So. 19th St.
Tacoma, WA 98466

office phone: 253-566-5260                 ceramics studio phone:  253-566-5346

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