Monday, October 31, 2016

Can I go now?


For the past 15 years or more I have taught adults. Over those years I have seen some of the cream of the crop and have boiled it all down to a couple of their personal attributes- work ethic and initiative.
The best of them asked if the studio would be open all night. They were there when you left and staggering back in when you got there early. Yesterday I had a class were one of the students said “Can I go now”. There was still lots that could be done to the work but the minimum had been completed and that was good enough. That will do for now and that’s good enough are probably my least favourite statements. It means it will have to be worked on again later because it hasn’t been done properly in the first place and it isn’t the best you can do.
Can I go now has bothered me all night long. I know I am wrong to expect that all students should be as hungry as I have been all these years. Hungry to learn more and more.
I think putting the time in you can learn a skill. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory comes to mind. Want a good golf swing- 10,000 hours. Want to be a good thrower 10,000 hours. You can put in the 10,000 hours quite easily since it’s only a 40 hour week for 5 years. That however doesn’t teach work ethic and initiative. That is personal! That is something else that requires a bigger brain than mine to qualify. Did you read DH’s comments on my post- Trade ya a greenie for a brownie???. A really well written response to the post.  
What makes some want to be really good and some just want to chug along?

Why did I show a picture of a blank canvas? I did because I think we all start our lives as a blank canvas and it is up to us to paint our lives as lively, carefully and as enthusiastically as we can. I can’t paint your picture. I can influence it but you must provide the mojo.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Trade ya a greenie for a brownie.


I remember in Elementary school when some kid other than yourself  was picking his nose you would say “ I’ll trade ya a greenie for a brownie.” Other classics were “pick me a winner, or don’t pick your nose you’ll poke your eyes out!.” So great being a kid when PC is out the window.
The scratch I can’t itch told me that green pots don’t sell. I looked around my house and sure enough I don’t have any green pots other than my favourite Richard Batterham’s and the pots I bought last year in Korea. I do have a pile of brownies in every shade of the somber palette.
Here are some pics of my green stage. I rather like the pots. I was a poster boy for MKM stamps at the time and I loved what I called Korean celadon on those pots. Another time I was told shino didn’t sell so I devoted more than a decade to proving that wrong. I made some pots this week and thought I’d love to revisit my greenies. Does that happen to you in your careers? You go back and revisit a period and try to bring new life to it.
These pots and the little shino bottle were from my train kiln that I tore down and moved to the big city lights of Hamilton




exactly 5 years ago today October 28th, 2011. It was also the very date I hosted Robin Grass Hopper at Sheridan College. It turned out to be the last workshop Grass would ever do.  Enjoy your work! Enjoy your friends. Enjoy your life! It sneaks up on you

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nasty Women

It seems the world over has nasty women leading the pack. I am the Warden at Pinecroft Centre for the Arts and I get this group of nasty women out on


a weekend of parole for good behaviour to fire the wood kiln. Missing from the chain gang is Emma Smith. She was in solitary confinement that weekend subject not to making license plates but Christmas ornaments. A woman has to pay for her cigars and other bad habits somehow.
I get to unload the wood kiln tomorrow that the London Potter’s Guild fired last weekend and I’m getting ready for these nasty women the end of November. When you walk Death Row you get to request a decent dinner so the gang asked for Uncle Don Caverly’s Smokin’ Ribs. They all got a remand on their death sentence so I have to be sure to provide them with another meal come November. Never argue with a nasty woman that carries a big stick. If you don’t beat them they’ll give you the finger and then gang up on you and flog you to death with firewood.
I never turn my back. I've had lots of experience with nasty women. Seems I'm attracted to them. 

These pics are from a firing we did in the August heat of 32degrees F or about 90 degrees F.  Doc in Georgia thinks that is a mild hot. We all suffered from dehydration and heat exhaustion that weekend so we had to drink copius amounts of red wine to get our legs under us.
Just had to add one of my wood fired porcelain teapots.