[Clayart] old statue found

ronroy at ca.inter.net ronroy at ca.inter.net
Sat Aug 6 20:01:58 UTC 2022

I can remember in the 60's having the same discussions about hand  
made. There were some who maintained that pots made with a wheel we  
not hand made. They were the hand builders of course.

Needless to say that I considered all the pots and installations I  
made were all hand made.

But let me ask this. During the Sung dynasty labor in the pottery  
factories was divided - one person made the clay, another made the  
glaze, another did the throwing, another the trimming and yet another  
the firing. All done by hand except for the limited use of machinery  
but mostly by hand. Do we think of those pots as hand made?


Quoting Snail Scott <claywork at flying-snail.com>:

>> On Aug 4, 2022, at 8:32 AM, Lis <lis.allison at primus.ca> wrote:
>> ...what constitutes 'hand made'. Is slip casting hand made? Is  
>> stuff made on a RAM press 'hand made'? Are underglaze transfers  
>> 'hand decorating'? Where do each of you draw the line?
> I am not sure there is a ?line??more of a gradient, really.
> Slip casting done by the artist, from an artist-made mold, pulled  
> from an artist-made pattern which was designed by the artist as  
> well, seems ?handmade? enough for most folks, but not all. What if  
> the moldmaking itself was contracted to another professional? (It  
> might be better quality this way!) And what if the casting itself is  
> done by a paid assistant? Is there any change in the end product of  
> the artist works as their own drone labor?
> What if the glazes came from a jar? Or just from someone else?s  
> recipe? Is it better if it was developed ?in-house?? or just more  
> likely to be flawed?
> Clay from a commercial supplier?most makers think this is OK; most  
> buyers don?t even know there?s an alternative.
> Commercial decals and texture stamps are a no-go for me?why would I  
> cede such an important part of my work to someone else? But many  
> people (such as Leopold Foulem) use mass-produced imagery precisely  
> for its accompanying 'baggage? and content, ironically or otherwise.
> What if it?s fully handmade right down to the homemade kiln and  
> hand-dug clay, but based mostly (or entirely) on work by another  
> artist?  Is that different from working within a long-standing  
> cultural idiom, making traditional forms? If so, how?
> What if something is impeccably made by hand from scratch, in a  
> foreign sweatshop for slave wages?
> I see a lot of work on Facebook which amounts to little more than a  
> kit assembly of premade components: purchased hump mold, purchased  
> clay body, purchased stamps and transfers, purchased glazes,  
> purchased decals, copied firing profiles, all to replicate a design  
> seen on Pinterest or Etsy. I won?t do that, but clearly, some people  
> will, and other people will buy it from them. (Worse artists, but  
> better businesspeople?)
> Inevitably, labeling something as ?handmade? will only mean what the  
> customers assumes it does, and have the value they assign it. . Any  
> desired legal definition will inevitably fall short, driving  
> mediocre producers to take advantage of the loopholes. In the end,  
> it is up to the buyers to decide what they want, regardless of  
> methods. We cannot blame their ignorance of the nuances of  
> production, or make them care about it if they do not.  If we can't  
> make work that people want, or make it available to those seeking  
> it, then we cannot complain if people buy elsewhere.
> -Snail

Ron Roy
ronroy at ca.inter.net
Web page ronroy.net

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