Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pottery Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope

Project: A lot of writing
Mood: Embattled
Media: Pottery Podcasts - Tales of a red Clay Rambler - Brian R. Jonescast - The Potters Cast

A little ranty, a little rambly.

When I started, all those years ago, I had so many plans, the world turns, things change. I never set out to be a ceramics instructor, I just wanted to make things. My work is super specific, meaning no one buys it, at least not enough to really survive. Over the last few of years I have discovered, or should I say embraced, the love of teaching. and the peculiar knack I have for teaching pottery techniques to people that have always had trouble doing it.

I've been aiming for teaching so I was advised to upgrade my diploma to a BFA, two humanities classes, did that.

The world turned, things changed.

Now I need my MFA, because 24 years of experience apparently does not equal 16 months in school for a piece of paper. Sorry, a little bitter still. I have been ruminating on that for a while, mostly because I am stubborn. Also because I have BFA students auditing my night class. They are still learning from me, I'm just not getting paid for it, nor getting the credit for teaching them. Despite that, I am happy to teach them, haven't said no, won't say no to them, they're good kids.

Dammit, I think I'm a teacher. It probably doesn't help that I just taught a class to K-12 teachers on how to teach pottery. :-/

Recently I created a piece of work that I consider one of the best things I have ever created, the Temple of R'lyeh Cookie Jar. I entered it in a couple of shows, didn't get in either show, yes there were many entries to the shows but still. I also recently entered a big Cup show down in the US, which I have been in before, and was also rejected. Depression Mode Activated!!

Fuck that!!!

I'm a fighter, I tend to wallow sometimes but eventually I get up and keep moving forward. Production will continue, things will eventually sell and I will get that MFA. I'm in the Medalta International Spoon Show too, so love those guys! Buy my stuff, or tell your friends to buy my stuff, or tell your enemies to buy my stuff, tell complete strangers on the street to buy my stuff.


I have been listening to a few Ceramic based podcasts recently and that is getting me all fired up as well. I've been thinking about an artist I met briefly last year, Steven L. Gorman, who didn't really start his ceramic sculpting career until after he had taught for 25 years, backward from myself but relevant. In addition, a little over 10 years ago I exchanged a few letters and phone calls with the amazing Paul Soldner when I was trying to arrange a workshop with him up here. He had reminded me that he didn't really consider working in clay until he was in his 30's, and that there was "plenty of time to do stuff", he had a relaxing laugh. He was 83 when I spoke with him but he showed no signs of ever slowing down. I think I need to make a little Paul Soldner/Yoda/Kiln God/Gargoyle/Guardian.

I'm 46, nearly 47, whatever that means, plenty of time.

SOMEONE BUY MY PRETTY POT!! It needs a good home. :-)