Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sometimes when you fall you fly.


It has been that kind of year. One of the best I can remember.
It’s New Years Eve and I think I’m going to get some good drink and food for Jack, The Pastor, Itch, Scratch, Uncle Jimmie, Grass and it would be wonderful if Doc could fly in from Atlanta. I’m going to have a bit of a party here at the lounge. All are welcome as this is a home and not a house.
When there is nothing really else to do make art. Make fabulous art! That is my plan for New Year’s Eve. I’m going to phone Grass and Mrs. Grass Keeper because it is Saturday night and I want them to know I’m thinking of them tonight.
I’m going to make seafood linguini for the cast and I think we’ll wash it down with a dry pino grigio. I’m going to buy some flowers just to cheer the Lounge up a bit and if Uncle Don is up to it we’ll go to Clarke’s for a heart attack on a plate on Sunday morning.  Happy New Year’s everyone. As Neil Gaiman would say” Make mistakes, lots of glorious mistakes. It means you’re doing something. Kisses and hugs to all of you.  

In an interview I heard today of Leonard Cohen he said something like this. There was something I loved so much that when I lost it I began to love everything.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Decoration



This is probably the highest decoration on the tree. This one can even replace that Tony Clennell look alike angel you have at the top of your Christmas tree.
The Order of Canada is given to a very select group of people that have made a difference in our country by enriching the lives of others.
It is true that most artists are considered “flakes” so it is fitting that my friend Robin “Grass” Hopper has been awarded this countries top award for his outstanding achievement as a flakey potter, author and educator.  Grass will receive a medal in the shape of a six-point snowflake. I always knew he was a little on the flakey side with all these hats, t-shirts and performance art rigmarole.
Grass has done more for ceramics in Canada than any other ceramic artist I know. No potter’s library is complete without at least one of his many books. His workshop itinerary and influence reaches from one side of the world to the other.
I would like to tip the fedora to Grass. Well done, ole sod.  Let us not forget Judi Dyelle his stand behind partner of more than 3 decades. Grass and Judi are truly an iconic pottery couple of international status. 

Pour yourselves a glass of bubbly and toast in the New Year. Keep the tree up for just a while longer. Big time shout out to the both of you, congrats! T

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I never had a fighting chance?


Here is a picture of me with my Uncle Jimmie and Aunt Cavvy at my very first solo show they held for me at Pinecroft in 1986. I was the potter and there was a clay sculptor Paul Brunell that did amazing clay birds. He has since turned to paintings of birds. The show was called Earth and Sky. It was a really big deal for me as you can see by the shirt, tie and white carnation

. My Uncle Jimmie was very proud that evening and for the next decade of his life he was my biggest fan and supporter.
The show was full of these Alice in Wonderland animated pots with cockeyed very large knobs and cut and altered teapots that looked like shoes. They were wood fired in pink and light blue shino with  x’s and o’s as slip trailed markings.
I recently went for a Doctor’s appointment and the nurse recognized the name “Clennell”. He asked if I was a Clennell from Pinecroft since he collected old Pinecroft ware. I answered’ Yes, that is if I don’t owe you any money!” He said he had this odd shaped casserole with a big knob kinda crocked that looked like it was from Alice in Wonderland and signed “Clennell” not Pinecroft. It was mine and from that show some 30 years ago. You can run but you can’t hide!

I really never had any fighting chance of being anything but a potter and a jug maker at that. Here is a picture of the Pinecroft display at the London Fair (London, Ontario that is ) where they proudly showed 100 jugs from tiny wee to large coil built.. They loved jugs as do I. The jug has so many human elements- foot, waist, belly, shoulder, neck, lip and arm. Speaking of all that I now look more like my uncle than the young man in the photo. If I can just hang on to the sparkle of his eyes I’ll feel I’ve aged well.