School is really winding up for the end of term tests, and that means I don't have much time in the studio until summer vacation begins in mid July. This delay of reliable studio time means that I must get my ceramics fix in other ways. This weeks outlet . . . YOUTUBE! I've especially been enjoying clips of Warren MacKenzie at his wheel.
MacKenzie, a student of the man the myth - Bernard Leach, is an infamous figure in my mind. I first saw his work in one of my early issues of Ceramics Monthly alongside an article talking about his struggles to keep art collectors from exorbitantly raising the prices of his work. To me, this man is absolutely one of the best. Watching him at work and listening to some of his thoughts on the creation of objects intended for use and the role of the craft / art creator is a real pleasure, only available to me in my current residence through the glories of internet and its many pathways.
"It's not that you try to communicate, but you try to put something into the work which will be there for the person who uses it to find - if their sensitive. If they understand the language. You know?"
One of my greatest struggles with ceramics, at this moment, is that I lack a mentor. There are days when I feel like I'm past the stage MacKenzie speaks of, where I've explored form and my creativity, but now I want to (I have to) push my technique. There are times at work, in the 10 minute breaks between cups of coffee and classes, where I look up the summer's ceramics courses at Penland and drool uncontrollably at the thought of having someone experienced to guide me. Sometimes I even catch myself rereading the Studio Visits in Ceramics Monthly. Just stuck mentally revisiting vignettes of different lives dedicated to the creation of beautiful objects. I could ramble on my fantasies and the seeking of an unclouded view of my future all day and night for the next 10 months, but that is hardly an interesting read.
Before I go! If you are kicking around the web itching to get a good fix of ceramics viewing for this week (and man do I know you are) check out the Tomio Koyama Gallery page and take a gander at the Function Dysfunction exhibition. It features one of my very favorite contemporary potters, Ani Kasten. Her work is just a continual inspiration! If you're in Japan and heading to Kyoto before the 14th of July go check out her work and tell me about it. Unfortunately for me, the exhibition's slideshow will have to suffice.
Alright, I'd say that's enough of the wordy junk for a while. Have a great weekend.