Friday, August 18, 2017

Storytellers



I am totally excited to have received the invites for “Storytellers” in the mail today. I had nothing to do with the title and I love it. I probably would have come up with something like “ A Painter, A Sculptor and a Bull Shitter! More likely I would have titled it “ The Mutual Admiration Society”  or “Birds of a feather” since all three of us are total fans of each others work.

We all tell stories with our art. Narrative art tells an ongoing story of what is happening at a particular time in the artist’s life. I don’t date my work. I know exactly the time frame it was made in. I can tell you of the birth of a child, the death of my mum or dad, divorce, new loves, and most recently life begins at 65.

This carbon dating is all me looking at the work. Sad moments don’t necessarily mean sad pots. Looking back, I see that some of my strongest work was made during sad times. This can be a time in the studio were you listen to your own voice and not that of someone else. You dig down into your inner soul and have blanked out on what is going on in the world and what others think.  I’m having the time of my life picking the colours of my doors, rooms, furniture, art work, clothing, plants for the garden etc. etc. I’m telling my story not that of someone else or trying to please someone else. I fire next weekend and to be honest I forget what I’ve made. I’ll be as surprised as you are. Please come out to the lovely town of Stratford to see Mary, Shane and I. There will be good stories by three veteran “Storytellers”. Bring your shovels and your hip waders. I have a story that starts with” A man walks into a bar…..

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Being an artist!


There is something we artists have in common. I mean the hard core artists. The ones that have given their entire lives to being artists. Every chance I get I go see Fred Eaglesmith. Tonight I went to a show with just he and his very hot and talented wife Gin Tif from south Texas.
His charity picnic is all weekend here at Springwater and it is not to be missed by those of us that like music, friendship and story telling.
I liked what he wrote in his program for his show tonight in Mytown.  People ask him how to have a career like his. Here is his answer.:
Start writing songs when you are 10 years old. Grow up with poverty, agriculture, religion and eight siblings. Run away from home. Hop freight trains. Start a business. Lose a business. Struggle to get a gig. Drive to Nashville with no money and a pocket full of songs. Get a record deal. Lose a record deal. Win a Juno Award. Break down on the side of the road everyday for days on end. Become a cult hero and amass a following of self-proclaimed Fred Heads. Tour relentlessly. Become everyone’s favourite. Become nobody’s favourite. Follow your gut. Smarten up. Don’t care what anybody thinks. Be fair. Be loyal no matter what. Keep going. Soften up. Give people a break. Expect nothing. Give everything, Keep going. Allow yourself to be happy. Find out who you are and deal with that. Don’t’ stay in fancy hotels. Write good songs.

I think that pretty well sums up what I have got on my mind. With some exceptions this could be my story. I think I’ve given pretty well everything I could give to be where I am now. I’ve tried to get out of this pottery business. I think I’m winning!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Don’t Quit Your Day Job!





Andrew has been living here since June and Sunday was the first time we got to work together in the work shop.
I asked him to make tester glaze cups for four different clay bodies so I can show participants of a wood firing the glazes that are available on the four different clays. Katy Bryant see he can throw tight and fast. Then see what happens.
I am no longer a match for Andrew in the loose throwing dept so I decided I would hand build some black clay while he threw porcelain loaded up with $30 worth of his precious feldspar chunks. I watched him throw these jars sit back look at them and then wedge them back up. I was enjoying seeing this incredibly casual work. I told him he better not get fired at the London Clay Art Centre because there are probably 3 people in Ontario that would want one of these jars. He had better be nice to me cause I’m one of them. He can give the other to his wife and the other one will probably crack.  Check this dudes knobs.   The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools. -Doug Larson US columnist. I think I know a little about this.
I made these 3 vase stacks using the final feldspar chunks I had given to me from a rattlesnake infested cave on the Athabaska River in Alberta. I had better hang on to my day job as well. Oh yeah, this is my day job!

With all this unrest going on south of 49 it it hard too stay focused. If ever there was a time to feel grateful to be living in Canada it is now. I am very proud of my associations with people that don’t button their lips when they see injustice. It is going to take more than a stand on social media. Be of courage my friends!