First let me start by sending my condolences to my friend Carter for the loss of his Dad. Carter I hear your voice. I hear the sadness and I understand all about feeling a lack of motivation to make-work at certain times in our careers. Mend yourself man and we await your comeback.
I’m feeling somewhat reflective tonight. Fools think that financial success and artistic success are synonymous. They are NOT! One of the members of my mentor ship group belongs to a co-op that accepted a financially successful potter. Now the financially successful potter has all but killed my mentee’s presence in the gallery. To my mentee all I can say is keep your voice. You didn’t join a wood fire mentor ship group to follow the market place. Your choice has been to march to a different drummer. Your work is growing! All in the group are urging you on. The people that read my ramblings each day are not your average everyday potters. Your work is not destined for the home of everyman but is destined for someone’s home.
Then on the same day I heard from a friend that has been fired after over 25 years of teaching at a local art school for having a voice. A teacher without a yearly contract must keep their mouth zipped when it comes to what they see as injustice. Question the powers at be and you are toast. The world needs more voices. Good on you. Take a bow!
I once had a professor Jim Miller that said _ Say something stupid and all will say “Oh that’s Tony Clennell the guy that said something stupid. Say something intelligent and they will say “ Oh that is Tony Clennell that said something intelligent.” Say nothing at all and they will say Tony Who? So much of the work I see in the market place today says nothing at all. It is a sea of sameness. The big voices whether I like the sound or not speak above the crowds. Your voice and your work it is one. Sometimes I wish mine were softer, more refined and more polished. As my boy hood hero Popeye the Sailor Man said “ I yam what I yam and I ain’t what I ain’t- toot, toot!