It looks like a good pot, but it's not!

I've been pondering "it looks like a good pot, but it's not!" since I listened to The Potters Podcast featuring my buddy the Georgia Cowboy George McCauley ( Give it a listen- some very good thoughts. In the podcast George being one of Ron Meyers very first students in South Carolina had a visit by Ron's former teacher Franz Wildenheim. Ron had the students put their pots out for a crit. Frans walked in looked at the pots and said "they look like good pots, but they're not. At first you think -what arrogance, whadda pompus prick, how unprofessional. I don't see it that way. Here was a man that had made and looked at thousands of pots from very old, to student pots, to pots by contemporaries. He had virtually spent a lifetime making, looking at and talking about what makes good pots. I will use one of my experiences as an example. Linda Christianson came to Ontario to help build a two chamber kiln at our studio. At nights we made pots. We fired the pots in the kiln. I pulled out some plates. They had a nice casual sweep of slip on the plate. Linda picked up a plate and said to me " you really like these plates don't you?" I answered "yes"! She flipped the plate over and there were these tight little trimming marks. Our eyes met and she said nothing. I knew that these looked like good pots but were not. I'm going to show one teapot. I collect and love teapots. This teapot is one of my favs. I had to grow to love this pot. I needed to handle more work ala Franz Wildenheim. I had been going to Ron Meyers for at least a decade to fire the Ratagama. This Chuck Hindes teapot was outside on the sale rack and each year I would pick it up and never buy it. Then one firing with Chuck Hindes present he caught me handling it. He said ' You like it, it's yours! I loved Chuck! There is soooo much about this pot that newbies would scoff at- WTF!!!!!!!!. For me it exudes a joy in making! Isn't that what it's all about. The purpose of drawing is not to just put lines down on a page anymore than jogging is to get somewhere. The product should be to see more deeply
. - Chuck I paraphrased this from memory.


Hey T, Thank you again for including me in your blog 2 times now. When Frans made that remark I immediately knew what that statement meant. I lament that the value of his remark is becoming lost in our ever changing , technologically inspired, AI directed ceramic field. Frans’s remark is certainly his personal opinion as is mine, as is everybody’s. Potters like you, and us who make pots for the love of clay, for the act of making, from some deep emotion, with maybe a wink to academia or technology, run the risk of becoming an anacranistic . We are not luddites, we prefer a more self directed natural, humanistic visceral approach. There is room for all kinds of pots, all processes, all styles - I do however prefer to hitch up to a less technological approach. “ Pots that look good but aren’t “= that ain’t enough, there has to be more than the finished object- there needs to be soul and love.
Anonymous said…
When will the Evangelicals learn that Trump is not their savior, in fact he is a servant of the Anti-Christ.

Anonymous said…
He's not a good pot,
in fact Donald J. Trump is Satan's Little Helper!

Anonymous said…
Beware Taylor Swift and the Swifties, they are out to steal the election.

Tiny T.
Anonymous said…
The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds.

Anonymous said…
Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.

Anonymous said…
Are you Spoofing me?
Anonymous said…
Unload your secrets!
Lightening the weight you're carrying around.

Anonymous said…
Who's your favourite?

Kiefer Floreal - Winnipeg

Alice Gibson - Penticton

Thomas Haskell - Toronto

Susan Johnston - Surrey

Renu Mathew - Olds

Jackie Talmey-Lennon - Vancouver

Andrew McCullough - Fredericton

Jen Sonnenberg - Stonewall

Elsa Valinas - Fredericton

Michael Wood - Salisbury
Anonymous said…
The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down with Jennifer Robertson and Seth Rogen

check it out!

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
The first one to bite the dust...

Susan Johnston, 67 (she/her)
Hometown: Surrey, BC

Your choice on the first to go home?

lil nastee

Anonymous said…
It’s never too late to change your major!
#artmajor #artmajorproblems

Anonymous said…
Another one bites the dust...
Alice Gibson, 21 (she/her)
Hometown: Penticton, BC

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
They really need you on the Great Canadian Pottery Throwdown.
Hint, Hint for next season?

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
With all this talk about some countries preparing for war, do you think World War III is going to happen?

Anonymous said…
President Trump's Official Sneaker.

Buy Now!
Anonymous said…
The hosts of Canada's pottery throwdown are too nice, sorry, they drip on your head like a chinese water torture. Replacements please!

Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…
Distant Future = Untasted Fruit

Anonymous said…
Thumbs Up!
This blog post was "liked" by lil nastee.

Please more wisdom and rants by Tony Clennell.
Another blog post soon?

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
Are you ready for your close-up Mr. Clennell?

Let's start a letter and email writing campaign to get Tony Clennell on the Great Canadian Pottery Throwdown. Send your demands to the CBC today!

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
The nooscope:
is a device that scans transactions between people, things and money, an invention of parallel significance to the telescope and the microscope
can tap into global consciousness and detect and register changes in the biosphere and in human activity

Anonymous said…
Have you been doing the challenges along with the show?
Anyone making rogen's ashtrays or tulip cups?

Anonymous said…
Hey Aj, the host is OK, she thinks she's funny but she's not.
The judges, one is super talented, the other uh, one of them should be changed for sure.

But this is a pottery show, not the Real Housewives of Clay.

Anonymous said…
Third week or third challenge of the Great Canadian Pottery Throwdown, judging controversy yes or no?

I thought three strikes and you were out, but another potter got sent home.
A pile of rubble glued together with glaze gets to stay?

May be this is just another Reality TV Show, reality not, just scripted for drama.

Anonymous said…
And another one's gone, Andrew McCullough, 32 (he/him)
Hometown: Fredericton, NB
Instagram: @nuceramics

Sent home too soon?
You be the judge?
Anonymous said…

Going barefoot can offer many immediate and long term benefits.

Anonymous said…
Work it pretty boys!
Pretty boys make pretty pots!

Anonymous said…
Are you a kiln god atheist?

Who's a kiln god atheist?

Do you fire your kiln with or without a kiln god?

Would you ever use a kiln that didn't have a kiln god?

Anonymous said…
And another one's gone...

Michael Wood | The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down

that lamp did not impress me much!

lil nastee
Anonymous said…
Still waiting to find your book at my local library.

Should I request that they purchase a copy?

No results for tony clennell were found.
Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
Some paperback books are not in our catalogue - learn more.
Digitized, historical items are on our Digital Archive.
Really stuck? Ask a Librarian by phone, email or online chat.

honey bunny
Anonymous said…
“God has chosen him to be the 47th president of the United States of America.”

Donald Trump has been 'chosen by God'

I don't think he is God's choice, more like the Anti-Christ.

Wake up Christian right.

Anonymous said…
“It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you.”

Donald J. Trump is the messiah!

KatsuBet said…
Keep up the good work, your post was superb.
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