Sunday, December 11, 2016

For better or for worse


This is a little painting a friend of mine Dave McCowan did of me in 1989 when I left teaching to make pots full time. Those were the six pack stomach days. Bloody gravity always wins.  I was making this cut and altered work that looked like it belonged in an Alice in Wonderland scene.  I was using pink and yellow stains under a shino glaze and firing a large 220 cubic foot 2 chamber wood kiln. I had an old baker’s  dough mixer to make clay in and an arm eater pug mill with all these exposed belts running inches from your arm. I did try smoking pot once to see if it would really loosen up my pots. I found myself asleep in the fetal position on the wedging table with an empty large bag of potato chips beside me. It didn’t work for me.
All my work was made on an old Williams kick wheel supplied by Pottery Supply House. I’d still use one today if I could move it downstairs. There is nothing more relaxing than making pots on a kick wheel.  There are many of these wheels still available at 3-$400 dollars. With the Canadian dollar tanking a Shimpo Whisper is $2000 and the best wheel of all the Thomas Stuart with all the bells and whistles is probably $2500. My dream studio would have a Williams and a Tommy.

Where has the time gone? God, I worked hard in those days! No wonder it is just me, Scratch, Jack, Pastor Clennell, and my little congregation left swapping lies around the firebox. People of my generation have all worked hard. We were born with a work ethic for better or for worse!

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