Friday, September 16, 2016

Tony Clennell- Tap Dancer


Whenever I go to make these cups I think of my friend Bob Reimer of Alberta. I first met Bob at an Alberta Potters Conference and we were in a show together. He had these little cups in the show and I think every potter bought one. I saw many cups like them in Volterra , Tuscany at this wonderful museum of Etruscan artifacts. I’m almost sure Bob was referencing these cups with his soft clay and slow wheel. .
Bob left us too soon at the age of 57. Here is a pic of the handsome devil.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research. 
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car. Being a potter is a faith, a calling, a dedication to a set of values, a lifestyle, a brother/sisterhood. Geezus, Dan shouldn’t have called me a Zen potter prophet cause I’m making all this weird shit up now.
Being a potter is more than a few courses at the Guild and an Etsy account. I think what I have been reminiscing is what would now be called the dinosaurs club. Those that have a solid foundation in the craft. It took me a lot of years before I had the nerve to call myself a potter. I haven't said it takes schoolin' but I am saying it takes a lot of self education, time in the studio working and hanging with the best you can. Wanna play better pool


- then play somebody who is better. 

My Dad insisted I take tap dancing lessons when I was a kid. Gee, thanks Dad! I don’t call myself Tony Clennell Tap Dancer.

2 comments:

Dennis Allen said...

Excellent advice as always. Hanging with the best has certainly upped my game. I often say Pottery is like poker and pool, no one learns for free. You gotta pay your dues. I know mine aren't all paid yet but I'm making regular installments.

ShellHawk said...

Agreed! It's difficult for me to balance home responsibilities, job responsibilities and still get in the studio, let alone find potters to hang with! (And for some strange reason, my husband wants to spend time with me! Can you imagine?)
But I still, somehow, get a little done here and there. Paying my dues, as Dennis said!

Thanks for passing on this bit of wisdom!