[Clayart] clay, the life style

Robert Harris robertgharris at gmail.com
Thu Jul 29 19:39:53 UTC 2021

Many good points. We all have to make pots that are true to ourselves and
that is probably influenced by our surroundings more than anything else.
(And our surroundings during our childhood second).

One nitpick. Oldest craft? Not by a long shot. Try leatherworking,
woodworking and flintknapping (stonework in general) first. And probably
basketweaving too. We clothed, sheltered, hunted and fed ourselves way
before we fired clay... come to think of it, surely cooking is a craft!

On Thu, 29 Jul 2021 at 09:19, mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:

> I fully realize that the times have changed a great deal.
> No longer do potters try for the "life style" and make
> clay the bread winner.
> Thousands of home/garage kilns now dot the country. Clay now
> is an advocation, joyful, more than hobby. If it brings in some
> extra money, so be it.  And, so many work in Community Centers, local
> groups and the cost of clay and firing does not really allow for making
> any sort of income.  It has become in many ways, a very expensive hobby.
> We now live in a "ready made" world.  One cannot escape it. It takes
> a real effort to stay primitive. ( I sit here with a very modern computer
> with fibre optic cable, Iphone in hand to create instant communication.
> I am not primitive.
> I know that my situation, living rural, small town Wisconsin is
> unique.  My life has always been "big city/ International".  In so many
> ways my
> rural writing is not meant to have folks copy me. It cannot be done.
> You live where you live. Your own style is unique. It is, what it is.
> My major concern over the past twenty years is that we cannot lose sight
> of what
> clay has been and will be in our modern world. It is still the world's
> oldest craft
> and a reason we came out of the "really dark" ages.
>  Every time I fire my kiln, I re/create the "Rocky Mountains".
>   If you totally swing to ready made
> it does sort of "ruin" the thrill.  Making pots does tie you into the
> past, the far past
> and it is exciting to understand that theory. You are a part of something
> far bigger than
> yourself.
> I just cannot let others make my work, control my thoughts and words. I
> have lived an entire
> life in clay trying to allow myself to control the media and being able to
> love the independence
> of being an artist/craftsperson. If you allow yourself to be controlled by
> others, sad for you.
> Today I am going to glaze 65 pots that will load into my small stoneware
> kiln. The glazes belong
> to me. The "heavens" ideas are mine, and the firing style is mine, and no
> one has my clay
> formula. I am still excited and thrilled waiting for the "outcome".
> mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML
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