[Clayart] clay, the life style

vpitelka at dtccom.net vpitelka at dtccom.net
Thu Jul 29 21:40:22 UTC 2021

Well-said, Paul.  When I had Railroad Stoneware in Blue Lake, CA and was doing high-production, unloading the kiln became a common routine, and I would be greatly disappointed if there were one or two defective pieces in that 100-cubic-foot kiln.  My love of making and firing pots had suffered greatly.  I quickly recovered it in grad school, and ever since, opening a glaze firing has always been exciting.  Opening a bisque is still pretty ordinary and predictable.  
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Potter, Writer, Teacher
Chapel Hill, NC
vpitelka at dtccom.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of paul gerhold
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2021 1:30 PM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] clay, the life style

If you lose the thrill of opening the kiln your clay work has gotten stagnant!


Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 29, 2021, at 11:20 AM, 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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