[Clayart] an old pot as a gift

Robert Smith rakunart at gmail.com
Sat Sep 28 20:41:55 EDT 2019

I am curious about how to convey to others the distinctions that Ron
described about that bowl, and especially to beginners in clay, to those
who have been taught to "keep the walls consistent", "set the rim", and
etc. I might understand those subtleties, and appreciate them and
cherish/value them. It is difficult, however, to share that looseness, that
wabisabi, that "mark of the potter" to others. I am not looking for
specific answers, mind you, but how does an instructor break the bonds of
perfection in her/his students to see the value in the ....  spontaneous,
the unintentional/allowed, etc.
I talk about this a lot with my students, and even have things that I have
written to suggest looking at the process *before the previously conceived
notion of what was sought. *It's a tough area for me: I might get it after
45 years, but how do I share that with people in their first year, their
tenth year, etc.
It is impossible to explain the subtleties of this sort of thing - yes?
In this, Ron, I think you spoke eloquently and personally and spot-on about
the dynamic. It is SO hard to share (maybe impossible) that understanding.

On Sat, Sep 28, 2019 at 4:43 PM <ronroy at ca.inter.net> wrote:

> When I was at Mel's - many years ago he kept taking out pots and
> showing them to me - he eventually brought out the bowl I bonded with.
> There was a strong feeling that I somehow knew the maker. It's glaze
> is underfired, there is a crack in the bottom and a broken glaze
> blister. Also a swirl of white slip covering 1/3 of the inside. The
> rim is warped in a very pleasant way. The best part is the way the
> emptiness is exaggerated. The potter has solved the foremost problem
> we functional potters have - a pot that asks to be filled.
> If someone will tell me where to post a picture I will do that.
> Thanks so much Mel - I have no idea when it was made - it's not signed
> but it's a wonderful connection to that potter and a reminder - make
> pots that ask to be filled.
> Liz and I just returned from doing a workshop on the west coast (BC) -
> I was explaining (again) how good it feels when someone chooses your
> pot (mug) over all the others in the cupboard and part of that is the
> emptiness.
> RR
> Quoting Vince Pitelka <vpitelka at dtccom.net>:
> > Hi Mel -
> > I really appreciate that you gave the pot to Ron.  He will treasure
> > it, and eventually will pass it on to someone else who will treasure
> > it.  I had a similar experience with Robin Hopper.  In that case he
> > knew that his health was failing, and he gave me a lovely little
> > first century Roman terracotta figurine of a woman with her hand
> > inside a pot.  It's on my living room shelf, and I think of Robin
> > every time I see it.  We expect to have you around for many years to
> > come, but once you're gone, you will have left a legacy of nice pots.
> > - Vince
> >
> > Vince Pitelka,
> > Professor Emeritus, Appalachian Center for Craft, School of Art,
> > Craft & Design, Tennessee Tech University, Now residing Chapel Hill,
> > NC 27516, vpitelka at dtccom.net, www.vincepitelka.com
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Clayart [mailto:clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com] On
> > Behalf Of mel jacobson
> > Sent: Friday, September 20, 2019 1:27 PM
> > To: clay <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
> > Subject: [Clayart] an old pot as a gift
> >
> > old pots bring out the best in old potters.
> >
> > ron roy has admired, coveted and loved an old pot...well over
> > thousand years old, on my wall of shelves with my treasures.  he has
> > been to my home on a couple of occasions.
> >
> > when i told ron all the treasures were going to amoca he `in panic
> > voice`/ `not the old one too?`
> >
> > `ron, they are all going.`
> >
> > the pot is not a famous name, famous, or worth money, it is just a
> > perfect old asian pot...he thinks japan, i think korea.  but, it is
> > a pot a potter would love.  i think he was crestfallen.  he was in
> > love with that pot...liz said he had dreams about that old pot.
> >
> > so, at nceca, that old pot changed homes. it was a pleasant surprise.
> > it was wrapped in bubble wrap lovingly. boxed and even had a carry \
> > handle.  i gave it to ron.
> > as it should be.
> > mel
> > i was not going to advertise that exchange...sort of a quiet gift.
> > but, this conversation on clayart made the perfect moment to reveal
> > that loving exchange.
> >
> >
> >
> > website: www.melpots.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> Ron Roy
> ronroy at ca.inter.net
> Web page ronroy.net
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