Friday, March 24, 2017

I can change!




Yesterday I read a nice little article about a potter friend Blue Iris who took a giant risk to be a full time potter. In the article she is quoted as saying “ If it can’t be made beautiful , it shouldn’t be made at all!” I couldn’t agree more.
I read this on a day when I have been making what for most would be a hard sell. I am a huge fan of well crafted work. Iris Dorton is one of those makers. Go to her seconds sale this weekend at her studio in Guelph. I think you will be hard pressed to find a second. Nice article and well deserved Blue Iris.
While in Atlanta my buddy Doc Agel and I went on a field trip to Seagrove, NC pot shopping- what else? Doc bought a lovely sushi tray from Takuro Shibata. On return to Atlanta Doc being the classy guy he is took me to his favourite sushi joint and presented the tray to the chef as a gift. Very classy, Doc!  Well the meal was extraordinary and so were the pots. The pots were of the earth rough and textured.
I’m going to take up sushi if I can get my grill working again.
I have had two successful production potteries in my career. I knew how to do it then but times they are a changing . I am very excited to see potters successfully making a living in a very difficult market
I once said “ I make pots not pieces!” Shit, I have to back pedal again in my life. I now think of them as pieces. It’s Ok! Said with right

hand over my heart- I can change, if I have to, I suppose. Amen!
Now I’m considered The Old Guard and expectations of me are different both from within and in the clay world.

It’s when you’ve found out how to do certain things, it’s time to stop doing them because what’s missing is you are not including the risk- Robert Rauschenberg.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jesus Did!

Last night I was asked to do a demo and talk about pots at The Brantford Potter’s Guild. I was asked by my friend Christie Gruppie to shake em up a bit. Thanks Christie for the invite and for trying to get me in more trouble than is possible on my own.
I know what Christie meant. It was not to shake up but to explain a passion and aesthetic that is perhaps different from one that most profess to be the Gospel. She wanted to have them hear the Gospel according to Clennell.
“People decide to live their truth, even when doing so isn’t simple. Each and every one of them had the courage to say – this is who I am even if you’ll crucify me for it. Just like Jesus did.” Cheryl Strayed from Tiny Beautiful Things.
I did have two of the members compliment me on the fact that the Hamilton Potter’s Guild Wood Fire Mentorship Group I formed almost 3 years ago still fires together and we are so tight as friends. We have The Campaigner (that’s me) , The Commander, The Negotiator, The Mediator, The Advocate and the rest have yet to take the Briggs Meyers Personality Test.


Thanks to Adriana Romkes of The Brantford Potters Guild for the less than flattering pic of me.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Cactus Lounge Flame Throwers





We just finished firing #18 in Cassius Clay with Cone 11 melted everywhere. Cassius always does a rope a dope with us and makes us think we are winning and then reminds us who is The Champ.  Cassius Clay is one of my heroes and I never ever want to go in the ring with him unprepared. The Flame Throwers are the best back up I have and overcoming some bad wood took some punches to the body. Teresa Dunlop and Duncan Aird worked at getting the cold outta of a chimney packed with ice.  We had on loan and as a guest Kimmy Harcourt who did the night shift with Emma Smith and between the two of them they landed some significant body punches of their own. It was up to the closers Chris de Takesy and Jen Drysdale to deliver the right jab and the left hook. I just sat, pointed and grunted. Who could forget our faithful mascots Roxy and Maggie.
On Saturday while the kiln was firing Herm had a jam in The Jammin’ Cabin. He had 12 musicians out to jam. The best experience you can offer is to appeal to all of the 5 senses. We had music, laughter, the smell of smoke and good food in the Green Frog Tearoom, great scenery in the pines, flame in the stack of the wood kiln, the sound of the woofing of the firebox and the Jammers. What have I forgotten? It was all covered.

So now we wait till next Saturday when we all gather to unload. Plans are for a crit ,a glass of wine and some munchies. Tonight I ache where I used to play.