The Old Bull and The Young Bull

Last night part of The Rat Pack met at The Blyth Gallery for a show curated by potter Rob Tetu "Smoke". This was a show of shino and wood fired work by 8 Ontario potters that have been flirting with shino and wood fire for several decades. Ron Roy, Liz Willoughby, Shirley Clifford and I have been hanging out for over 4 decades telling stories, jokes, stoking, eating, drinking, talking pots and enjoying life. Kim Harcourt and Barb Murphy were always there too. We were missing the one with the biggest BS shovel- Frank Tucker. BS of course stands for Bible Study. I remember well the night Ron Roy told me The Old Bull and The Young Bull joke. I was 35, divorced, and totally driven by work. Ron was giving me a message in the form of a joke. I just got the joke a couple of years ago during Covid. Ron has been a very important part of my development as a potter. He has always been there to tweak a glaze or clay body for me. When I started making pots back when the mountains were still cooling Ron was the only guy making clay for potters in Ontario. Rodaco Clay was this factory with a bunch of Walker pug mills where Ron paid people piece work to pump out tons of clay. I used to look at his collection of ripped and torn pots that were so far from the aesthetic I thought I wanted to acheive. Ron wasn't always a refined porcelain maker. I don't know how he got so pure. In those days there was low fire and high fire. Mid range may well have gotten it's biggest start from the book that Ron and John Hesselberth wrote "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes". There was next to no information availabe on mid range until then. It is now the fastest growing segment of the industry. High fire may not be where it's at for most urban potters.
Ok here is the groaner. Ron tells it like it's the first time. I know the punch line and still laugh. There is an old bull (Ron) and a young bull(Me) standing on a hill looking out over a herd of young heifers. The young bull says to the old bull "Let's run down the hill and make it with one of those young heifers!" The Old Bull says "Let's walk down take a long cool drink of water and make it with them all!"
Snow Plate by Ron Roy The Rat Pack


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