"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