Monday, July 18, 2016

Still Kickin' at 92


What would a trip to Minnesota be without a pilgrimage to the studio of Warren MacKenzie? Warren at age 92 is literally still kicking his Leach treadle wheel. Warren was more than gracious and enthusiastic about his stories of his early years with Bernard Leach. He is still putting in 6 hours a day 7 days a week in the studio.
If I might be bold to say the pots are not what they once were but there is still an honesty and an integrity in the work that is admirable. He is a legend in America and rightfully so. He has kept making pots for people to use in daily life.

Warren took us to his house to show us some of the pots in use in the kitchen- Hamada, Shimoaka, Hagi ware and a couple of killer pieces by Ken Matsaki. The hike up the hill from the studio to the house is pretty steep and he climbed it like a mountain goat. His enthusiasm for pots and life are so evident. I felt like I was in the presence of greatness today. I hope I am as enthusiastic about pots ten years from now never mind 27 years from now. I wonder what changes in this field I would witness if I reach the age of 92?

2 comments:

Jeff Abney said...

I have made that pilgrimage, too, Tony, to visit Warren in his studio. It is inspiring to watch him at work! He is so generous with his time and knowledge, a kind and giving soul! Truly an icon in American ceramics. I call him "The Pope of Pottery."

Sandy Ellis said...

Thanks for sharing Tony. I read your post fondly every evening.