Sunday, January 17, 2016

Being Real!

I’ve written quite a lot about this process of mentorship and what it has meant to me and the group. It has been so much more than learning about the process of firing a wood kiln. I think that is what the members signed up for and in the process got a whole lot more.
When I taught formal education at Sheridan I often said that the real education started after the class was over. It happened around the kiln, at the pub, at a throwing weekend, at NCECA,  having a smoke under a tree, an informal moment somewhere outside the formal setting of the classroom. We have had so many informal moments together around the firebox, at pot lucks, over a celebratory beer over many days, weeks and now over 18 months.
My daughter Robin sent me this picture for my blog. She reads me like a book and shares my irreverent sense of humour.  
What this last part of the journey has taught is the words to the song. We spent 17 months together trying to get the music right and now we need to write the words to the song. The dreaded Artist’s Statement. We agreed that for maximum impact it needed to be less than 50 words.  This is not your bio. It is an opening line to introduce your work and then let the work tell your narrative. Over my career I have read so many Artist’s Statements that after you have read them(if you don’t dose off and your eyes don’t cross) you wonder what the hell you just read.  Artspeak as thick as peanut butter.

Wood firing is much like the written word. It is you exposed buck naked with no clothes on.  It is like going to a nudist colony on a 
tropical island and either getting no sun at all, getting sun burned, tanned or blessed with a fine Cashmere sweater that you’ve never looked better in. The colour of the weave is the big surprise. I’ve always liked surprises!

1 comment:

Dennis Allen said...

My artist statement- I make dishes and try to trade them for money