Thursday, February 11, 2016

Squandering your reputation

I’ve been in the Akar Yunomi Show for quite a number of years. I was getting worried when I hadn’t been invited until January. I always thought I got an invite earlier. I haven’t been good at documenting my work but I was able to find a couple of periods in my yunomi  flirtation. I like to change it up every year. It’s the fear of success syndrome since my cups are usually gone in the first hour.  I remember there was a bit of an uproar from someone that my yunomi’s had handles and that wasn’t a true yunomi. They are not handles they are signatures. I put this heavy slip on some I made yesterday and went out to play with my man machine to digest what to do next with them. Would the slip suffice or would I put handles on them?  After blowing the driveway with my trusty Honda the answer was clear. Put handles on them for heavens sakes. People like their work signed. It took me a long time to acquire this bad reputation of putting handles on everything. I could squander my reputation in a heart beat if I’m not careful.


If you try to teach a fish to climb a tree it will spend the rest of it’s life thinking it is stupid.  Oh you’re not allowed to say stupid anymore. You will spend the rest of your life being minimally exceptional. If they keep inviting me I just might get the definition of a yunomi right yet.  I hope not!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I love her meat!

Today I was listening to some tunes and preparing my world famous Springwater Packers chicken wings when the door bell rang. It was Nancy from Springwater Packers with a Valentine's gift for me. A lovely bottle of wine and 4 sirloin tip steaks.  I love the the meat of Don and Nancy Caverly at Springwater Packers because it is real. I shop there and they shop here.
Nancy asked me to make some herb pots for her niece that was getting married. She told me their names and wrote them on a piece of paper. Well, I'm a man and didn't look at the paper relying on my good memory. I made the dozen pots and proudly delivered them with the wrong names on them. How could this happen? I made them again and delivered them in exchange for their meat. "Her meat" sounds better as a title but it is the meat of Don and Nancy.When ya treat people right they treat you right.Win, win!!!!!!
It was a good day for me. I got an early Valentines Day present, I got an invite to the Akar Yunomi Show and get this a personal invitation to Dwight Holland's house for dinner in NC to see his collection of over 3000 pots. I am indeed the richest man in the room tonight!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rich man!

In my recent blog post Mr. Prick  ly I excluded my work from the posting. This show was about the mentee's work and not mine  I have had my 15 minutes of glory and I wanted my crew to stand up and take a bow.  Here is a long shot of some of my boats in the show. The boats were a metaphor for the voyage that we had all been on together.
I took a shot of Jen Drysdale's artists statement because I thought in such a few short words it said it all. Why I love wood firing! Wood firing is not for those that need to be in control or be able to predict what something is going to turn out like. It is for those of us that love serendipity and happens chance. I don't want to know what is going to happen in my life and i really don't want to know what is going to happen in the next firing. It is what has kept me in love with this process- serendipity. Here's a picture of me happily unloading our firing. I am a rich man!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Best failure ever!


Success as an artist should mean recognition and monetary success. If you were to ask me who my favourite contemporary artist is today I’d without hesitation say Banksy. The graffiti artist that nobody knows. He is believed to be British but won’t do interviews and I don’t know how he makes a living.  His reputation alone is said to be worth 20 million US dollars. His art though has always got a real hook to it. It is very well done and has an unforgettable message.  Two London bobbies kissing was a real good one. I have known of several potters that refused to sign their work. The work itself is the signature. Those that come immediately to mind are Shoji Hamada, Richard Batterham, and Harry Davis. Funny thing is they are probably 3 of my favourite potters.

This quote by Ray Charles says a lot about what your goal is with your work. Ray’s was obviously to be a great musician. “I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to be great!” So I’ve revealed to you my favourite artist and now my favourite politician is Texan Kinky Freidman. That guy is character personified. To quote Kinky “ You have to pretend that your life is a financial pleasure even when your autographs are bouncing.  Kinky never made it to be governor of Texas but he got my attention way up here north of 49. The world needs more characters!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mr. Prick ly


As promised here are some pics of the wood fire show Hours and Ours at the Carnegie Gallery.
Thank you all for coming out and for your support otherwise. The show is open till Feb 28th. The gang presented me with this cactus “Mr. Prick ly” for my Cactus Lounge. Not sure if they were inferring that I am a prick or not. I love Mr. Prick ly. When I got home I hydrated him and me as we were both in need.
Lots of people are afraid of the critical process. I think when it works best is when the table gets turned on you and you become your own  best/worst
Mr. Prick ly
critic. This is especially important when you are part of a group that is going present a show to a full house of potters and collectors. Ya can shit the fans but ya can’t shit the players! Nobody wants to be the weakest link.  Nobody wants to be the turd in the punchbowl. No resting on past laurels. You enter into a mentorship because you want to change up your work so what ya did yesterday ain’t gonna cut it.
So I’d like to introduce you to the first graduating class of Firebox U.
Barb Rose

The photos of Richard Row documenting our voyage.


Annemarie Row

Jen Drysdale
Emma Smith
Duncan Aird
Teresa Dunlop
Chris de Takascy


Thursday, February 4, 2016

For Better or Worse


I’ve seen them draggin’ their tired and sorry arses home to bed after a long shift stoking only be on again in 4 hours. I’ve seen them with tears in their eyes. I’ve seen then giddy with delight. I’ve seen them bundled up surrounded by 4 feet of snow in January and stripped down sweaty and smelly in the scorching 90degree heat of August.  I’ve seen them dead serious and determined. I’ve seen them chilled out at the numerous pot lucks where we have had the good fortune to
share food, drink and friendship.

So if you can possibly come to The Carnegie Gallery in Dundas tomorrow night come and see them at their best. I bet they actually clean up pretty nice. Pressure makes diamonds. Come to our diamond mine.
Also see the narrative of this voyage presented in the photographs of Richard Row.