Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Erection



Well today my neighbour Ken the Welder helped me with my 10 foot long erection that is as hard as ¼” steel. I couldn’t handle the erection on my own. Too big, too heavy and I feared it might fall on me. Imagine being killed by an erection.
 Not often that you weld a tree but we welded the Fran tree to pieces of steel that used to be my clothes line poles. Not hanging my gotchies out for all to see.
You can’t plant tender stuff here until after May 24th so my plans are to plant three types of clematis on either side of the Fran tree and let them grow up and show themselves to the neighbours in the form of a purple, pink and white tree. My dad’s favourite climbing vine was the clematis so I’m going to let him crawl all over mum. I’m going to choose one that blooms in the early summer, the summer and the fall. When the blooms are gone I will put up my Christmas lights.
I was born in the year of the rabbit so it is the rabbit in me that wants my little warren to be a warm happy place. It was three years ago today I moved to Aylmer to start a new life. Sometimes life takes the steering wheel and you are just a passenger along for the ride. Sometimes it’s so scary you look out the passengers side window hoping not to see what’s coming at you. At other times you grab the wheel at 2 o’clock, punch down on the gas, turn up Born to Be Wild and rocket down the highway.   

My neighbour with the million dollar house next door has already asked me what colour I’m painting Fran. Fran stays the way I remember her. Strong as steel with no paint. I might if I can find it buy a bottle of Evening in Paris perfume and sprinkle it on her once in a while. That was her favourite or at least that is what she told her 3 boys. It’s probably what she knew we could afford.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Man is in the House






Bruce Cochrane is giving a workshop this weekend at the London Potter’s Guild. I went into town to join Bruce and friends for dinner at my favourite Vietnamese restaurant. We then went back to the centre for his Power Point presentation. His work blows my mind. Google him and visit his portfolio. He is one of the best vessel makers bar none in my opinion. Now when you look at those pots remember they are “thrown”. No, they are not slabs put together. They are for the second time “thrown”. As many years as I have been making pots I still don’t understand how he does it. There are hand built elements but the body of the work is thrown and in multiple pieces. I look at Bruce’s pots here at the Cactus Lounge and wonder how the hell he did it?
Meticulous craftsmanship, amazing forms, attention to the smallest details, and tasteful surface treatment.
At the Q and A at the end of his Power Point the room fell silent. No bloody wonder we were all still stunned by what we had just seen.  I felt humbled and drove home thinking of how I could be more exacting.
 Erase that thought!

Earlier in the evening Bruce suggested that he and I do a workshop together.  I think it would be a great workshop of the two Bruce’s. I am after all Anthony Bruce Clennell. My work has always been about leaving the marks of the maker in the throwing, the trimming and the firing. Putting a Shurform in my hand would be tantamount to murder. I don’t think I’d look very good in an orange jump suit.
I know you still don't believe me but those pots are thrown! Knock em dead, Bruce.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Living Your Life Generously


Here is a pic of my Atlanta buddy Doc Rick Agel with Clyde of Clyde’s Kitchen that has served over 3 million meals to people in need. Doc helps in the kitchen every Wednesday. You know my admiration for you and your generosity Doc. It is expressed in this small tribute to you and Clyde. The world is blessed by your presence and me by your friendship. Keep living your life generously.
Before bed last night  The Pastor, Jack, and Scratch were sitting around the Hogbin/Black table talking about how I have not contributed to civilian life. I have never been a little league coach, worked at a soup kitchen, been on town council or joined any service clubs. I did when I had a job. I was active on the Board of the Ontario Potter’s Association. I found though that when I went full time into pottery I just couldn’t spare the time. It seems pottery has been a seven day a week job. Not that I make pots 7 days a week but my pottery life and life’s maintenance leaves me so little time.
Life was supposed to get easier and I was supposed to have more time. Life is very good but full to over flowing. If I had more time, I’d really like to see more of my kids and grand children. I think it is no wonder both of my kids stayed away from a career in the arts. 

I listened to an artist the other night that advocated art for art sake and that all artists need to find a real paying job.  I think Pablo Picasso should have been present.

He can who thinks he can and he can’t who thinks he can’t! Pablo Picasso