Posts that have been sitting in the back of my mind

Part 1

My father sent me an article a week or so ago from the NY Times on the death of Tatsuzo Shimaoka. Tatsuzo work was characterized as "mingei", which is a term that means "craft of the people". Potters such as Randy Johnson and Ruggles/Rankin make pots of this nature as well. Tatsuzo studied under Hamada who is the grand-daddy of all of this...I believe ( I'm sure if I'm wrong in my phrasing of this Ron Philbeck will correct me!) ....( Ron too makes pots similar to the mingei traditions).
Anyhow, I wanted to write about this because although I don't make pots in the mingei tradition I have really come to love the pots made this way. When I first started out at Cedar Creek gallery and we carried pots made by Wil and Douglas and others who made similar work, I always found the pots to be chunky and ruff. After I went to school and studied up at Penland I slowly grew to love these pots. They are as they are intended to be; honest, functional and subtle. Believe it or not, I have tried to make pots like this, and here is where I believe you create what comes from within. What I mean by that is your personality, experiences in life and everything that influenced you growing up comes out in creativity. I'm sure you can be taught to mimic something but if it the creativity that you are striving for, you will come up with something that is created from within. I hope that makes sense. Its just my own take on that......
Part 2
I had a good trip down memory lane at my home show. My friend Scott and Debi Smith showed up with a "mystery" gift for me. They told me the story of going into the Hospice good-will store in Rock Hill and eyeing a bowl that seemed very familiar to them. As they told the story with a grin on their faces, I had no idea that somehow from Greenville NC to Rock Hill SC one of my soup bowls from my thesis show in 1999 ended up here! When they took the paper off, it was like seeing an old friend. As they both said when they saw it that it had to be one of mine because it was organic in nature and had similar imagery on it that I do now. What was great about seeing this bowl was that it came out of the salt kiln I used for 5 years at East Carolina and it had this wonderful buttery glaze on it that I formulated years ago. The part of the bowl that took on the salt was a blue slip that I had drawn through with a small loop tool. The bowl had a small crack in it and Scott said that when he took it home and unwrapped it the bowl jumped out of his hand and crashed. When he told me that I had to grin to myself and think of how my funny mind views my pots as little creatures. That little bowl had to make its journey back to see me one more time to remind me of things to come with my new kiln!


Anonymous said...

How's it going Hope ya'll had a great Christmas! Tell Joey to give me a call. What are ya'll doing New Years Eve? We'll be in Charlotte and have extra tickets if you are interested. (Slim to zero chance we'll see you, I'm sure)Happy New Year! Adios,Matt

Jen Mecca said...

Matt....tickets to what? You need to get after Joey about writing on his blog again.

We are going to hang out with a group of friends from here that all have kids. Sounds like a wild time huh!Jen

Unknown said...

have a happy new year jen!

Scott Smith said...

Funny, I had the same thought about your bowl visiting you one last time. I was bummed that I broke it, but I'm glad it serverd some higher purpose. I'll be very excited to see what you'll make in your new kiln.