As Margaret Wheatley said, "Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."
From this semester, answer the following questions in regard to the creative process in pottery, and how it has maybe impacted you in other ways...
1. One thing you did this year that you're proud of....
2.One mistake you made and the lesson you've learned....
3.One story you're willing to let go of before 2017.....
Stephen King is an author of supernatural fiction. What do you think he means when he says "you can" and "you should"?
In what ways are you not brave when it comes to creating pieces with clay?
In what ways have you become brave by doing the work in this class?
Recall a time you learned from an artistic "mistake".. share what you learned, and the frustrations you felt with that process/project. Due 11/13.
Here's my view.
How we Learn from Mistakes
Learning from mistakes helps us grow. Falling happens a lot when first riding a bike. Getting back up and riding again is the tough part. It's the repetitive doing that we as artists, learn, and by doing, and many times we discover more about that thing than we knew before.
There's no substitute for hands-on practice, in both hand-building and wheel -throwing. While doing hands-on practice, learning can be "extrinsic" as well as "intrinsic". When learning a new skill, intentional thinking & focus is required. This is "extrinsic" and DIFFICULT practice. This could be slip-trailing or wheel-throwing, handle-making or carving. This is very extrinsic ( from external sources-a teacher or video). When you simply repeat things you can already do, you are doing "intrinsic" practice. Your body's skills are being developed. Your brain is connected to the tips of your fingers and learning to respond automatically, without thinking. Before long, doing the new skill will become like second nature. Whether you are learning the piano, game of soccer, or pottery, if you switch between hard and easy practice, it will get easier. It is a great way to develop a more difficult skill. If you are not challenging yourself in pottery, then why not? How ARE you challenging yourself daily? Answer here.....
Beatrice Wood-was an American artist and studio potter involved in the Avant Garde movement in the United States; she founded The Blind Man magazine in New York City with French artist Marcel Duchamp and writer Henri-Pierre Rochéin 1916. She had earlier studied art and theater in Paris, and was working in New York as an actress. She later worked at sculpture and pottery. Wood was characterized as the "Mama of Dada." She was quite the character and had much to say about life and art. She lived to be 95, when she passed away in 1998.
Trivia- she was the character "Rose" in the movie Titanic!!
Respond to this: Is your art too precious to sell? Do you have pieces you have made that you will never part with? If so, what are they? Why are they special? Please enter your opinion/insight by Sunday 11/7
"As clothes are to the human body so are glazes to pots. That clay vessels made by primitive peoples were not glazed suggests a parallel to their own familiarity with nudity, nor does it seem inappropriate that they should have had the greatest feeling for naked clay forms. With our multiplicity of clothing we have become sophisticated and ashamed of our bodies, and, in a manner no less apposite have completely covered our pots with glazes."
Respond to this:
Has there been a time that you chose a glaze for a bisque piece with something that didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, or that wasn't necessarily the "appropriate" finish or pallette? Have you regretted or been happily surprised when viewing your work after glaze firing?
Describe the piece, and what you would have done differently.
What is Bernard Leach trying to say here, when he compares glazes to articles of clothing?
Personally for me, I believe he's speaking about appreciating the simplicity of the form, and while it can remain functional, the piece is a visually appealing work of "functional" art.
“...failure with clay is more complete and more spectacular than with other forms of art. You are subject to the elements... Any one of the old four - earth, air, fire, water - can betray you and melt, or burst, or shatter - months of work into dust and ashes and spitting steam. You need to be a precise scientist, and you need to know how to play with what chance will do to your lovingly constructed surfaces in the heat of the kiln.”
― A.S. Byatt, The Children's Book
A.S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short-story writer and critic. Her books include Possession and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman. She was appointed Dame of the British Empire in 1999.
While this is not a quote from a famous potter or ceramist, she hits the nail on the head with her quite straight-forward "crash with reality" when it comes to creating forms out of clay, and then relinquishing them to the kiln, which we have no control over.
Respond to this:
How do you relate what she says to your own art-making, or even life in general? ...In the process of creating, and the need to be your own "scientist" in order to have success as a clay artisan? What are the aspects of this process that you have little control over? What things in life can you relate to this passage?
Due by Friday midnight, 10/14
Henry Van Dyke-on talent-due 10/710/2/2016
"Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang the best."
~ Henry Van Dyke (American novelist and musician)
Did you know we are all born with at least 700 talents? We only develop a handful in our lifetime. What talents or skills do you possess that you KNOW about-right now?
What are others that you think you would be good at if you did have the time to develop them, whether artistic or not. How will you go about discovering these skills or talents? Why is it important to fail in order to discover these talents?
Due Friday 10/7
What seems to always jump-start your zing of creativity? (Sleep, good movie, book, exercise, etc) and how does time to work on alone and / or the stimulation of other people relate to your creativity level? Respond by 9/30 for full credit.
Beatrice Wood was an important contemporary artist, craftsperson and writer. Her life ran the course of the 20th century and included many of the figures that shaped it. Ultimately, her genius was in the marriage of wide-ranging influences in her work. The spirit of Dadaism, impact of Modernism, embrace of Eastern philosophy, influence of folk art and even the ornament of ethnic jewelry were all combined in her ceramics. Her work reveals a mastery of form, combined with a preference for the naïveté of folk art.
Ultimately, it is impossible to separate her life experiences from the work she created, as she truly mastered the art of a life." ~Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts
Respond to this:
Last summer my kids and I went to a beautiful place called Nice, France, on the coastline. The ocean was brilliant blue, but instead of sand under our feet, there were nothing but millions of small pebbles, all smoothed from many years of tumbling in the waves, but still hard, hot and bumpy to walk on. While they were smooth, we were not used to walking barefoot on pebbles in order to get to the water! It was different, and a bit painful, because they were bumpy and hot under our feet. But when we got to the ocean it was worth it! The cool water was refreshing and we forgot all about those irritating pebbles along the way. We could have stopped, and turned around, avoiding the pebbles all together, but the ocean was well worth walking through the the pebbles to get there.
Through mistakes.....we learn, and progress to the next level, in the process we discover something about ourselves or our art that we didn't know before. Many times, a wonderful and unexpected reward awaits you, after the hardship of trial and error occur. We learn by doing. We lose out when we avoid hardship many times.
How does fear prevent you from revealing or discovering your true style and identity? What holds you back artistically? What are some ways you can move past those obstacles in order to grow as an artist?
Respond by Sept. 23rd for full credit.
Due for FULL CREDIT by Friday 9/16
"It makes good sense to use clay for pots, vases, pitchers, and platters, but I like to have things both ways. I make things that could be functional, but I really want them to be considered works of art."
Betty Woodman (b. 1930) is internationally recognized as one of the most important ceramic artists working today. Through her inventive use of color and form and her expert blend of a wide range of influences, she creates exuberant and captivating ceramic sculpture.
Employing many forms, from fragmented wall vases to bronze benches to pillow pitchers, she presents a delightful gathering of influences and traditions. Woodman has traveled extensively, finding inspiration in cultures around the world. Artist and writer Jeff Perrone has described Woodman’s remarkable ability to draw on many sources:
As a body of work, her ‘style’ is an ever-changing constellation of ceramic styles…This ceramic eclecticism is an implicit critique of modernist “purity”, the leveling of variety and difference. But Woodman’s eclecticism, her pluralism is not a scrambling or confusion of systems. It is the selection of what is best from various styles; it requires more care, more orderliness to be an eclectic than to apply a single standard or adhere to a single model.
For Woodman, this eclectic gathering is an essential part of her process:
Have you discovered a "style" in your art or your way of dress or decorating? If so, what style do you employ in your art-making, dress or decoration?
As Betty is constantly changing in her preferences of ceramic styles, she appears to stay consistent to her love of bright colors and incorporating Matisse-like elements in her work.
Your style is unique and personal to you. Describe your style preferences, and embrace your uniqueness!