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I need more artists in my life - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
I need more artists in my life
Yesterday, while browsing a gallery that had some high-end ceramics, I was so taken by one of the pitchers on display that I forgot myself and actually picked it up. There was something about its shape and its finish that I just had to feel it in my hands and run my fingers along the intricate, curving black lines that looked like they had been laid over the glaze. The glaze itself was beautiful, beginning a rich ivory and fading into a subdued russet near the base. Taboos be damned, I needed to hold it.

As I set it gently down, a lovely woman came up behind me and asked, "Do you know ceramics?"

I was a little embarrassed for having been caught breaking the unspoken code, but recovered enough to say, "Just a little. I’ve been taking classes for a little while now, but still consider myself a rank novice."

She smiled in a most disarming way. "I could tell that you were a thrower just by the way that you handled the pitcher. Where do you do your work?"

The conversation that followed was amazing. We talked for a little while about studios in the area and little by little I realized that she was the artist whose work I had just been admiring. I confessed a fascination with finishes and we got into a long discussion about the tools and techniques that she used, from gas-fired kilns to iron-oxide slip. When I pressed about the pattern on the pitcher, she began to talk about tracing guidelines into the slip and then not using them as absolutes. This very much excited me, and when I started talking about my ideas of "controlled abandon," she smiled again and invited me to come see the studio at Harvard... where she teaches.

I was already riding high on Betsy encouraging me to consider a table at the next Punk Rock Flea Market, and this sent me over the top. I think this was probably the first time that I had had a discussion with an artist where I was made to feel like a peer and not just another student.
16 comments or Leave a comment
canonfire From: canonfire Date: December 15th, 2003 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
how wonderful! i wish i had more artists and writers to hang out with in real life. which means that we must hang out more. duh.
komos From: komos Date: December 15th, 2003 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Undoubtedly. I'm fairly certain that would qualify as a good thingTM
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: December 15th, 2003 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe we could swing such a thing while I'm there for Giftmas? (12/20 to 1/5)...
shutupbetsy From: shutupbetsy Date: December 15th, 2003 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
us too, us too!
technocowboy From: technocowboy Date: December 15th, 2003 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should add archanglrobriel to your friends list. He's an artist in the bay area (El Cerrito, just north of Berkeley) who writes about his life, art, school, everything. He works mainly in 2D art and mosaic, while his partner sonofpan (who never posts, damn him) works in ceramics. Their studio is called Son Of Pan. Check them out. They're also friends of mine and lonespiritwolf2's. GREAT people.
komos From: komos Date: December 15th, 2003 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool... thanks!

I can only hope I can garner such high praise one day. ^_^
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: December 15th, 2003 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is just cooler than cool! When are you going to visit her studio?
komos From: komos Date: December 15th, 2003 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
It must be ICE COLD!

I have no idea. It will be soon, though I know that Harvard's program is a bit on the pricey side.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: December 16th, 2003 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's Antarctic, Baby!
tarotchan From: tarotchan Date: December 15th, 2003 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey it doesn't matter if you end up there or not.. just that kind of artist vibe is a wonderful thing and heck its a good connection.
komos From: komos Date: December 15th, 2003 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
She actually mentioned that there's a possibility that she might start teaching out of her own studio relatively soon, so that may be another option.

Regardless, I agree with you completely. Even being able to spend fifteen minutes talking to her on that level was really incredible.
alisonwndrlnd From: alisonwndrlnd Date: December 15th, 2003 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
THAT IS SOOO AWESOME. You better take the opportunity to go see the studio! It's so nice to see there are still people/artists out there that take interest in beginner's and people who also have a passion for the work they do.
komos From: komos Date: December 15th, 2003 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I needed something like this to happen. I've been grousin' for a while that glazing is going to remain inaccessible to me until I'm actually able to understand some of the technical aspects of it. Knowing that there are other studios in the area that don't keep that aspect of the art one of the "Mysteries of the shop techs" is a step in the right direction.

I'm just so surprised and so grateful that she took the time to talk to me.
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: December 15th, 2003 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is an artist I know called... let's say his name is Peter. He is a phenomenally passionate, phenomenally talented individual who creates for the shear joy of creation. He doesn't limit himself to a single medium. He tries different things. And yet he constantly sells himself short. I've watched the furvor with which he creates, talks about creating, and admires creations.

I aspire to find that sort of passion someday.
komos From: komos Date: December 16th, 2003 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
This coming from the gent who has a "YESAND" license plate...

Dude, you inspire me.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: December 16th, 2003 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is just the sort of thing I've been thinking, but having trouble putting into words (go figure). Creative cooking, creative writing, creative beer brewing, creative pot throwing... He truly is a mass of talents.
16 comments or Leave a comment