Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Well, for lack of a better term...... I'm back.
Life throws some curve balls and I've never been good at hitting curve balls, in fact, I had to quit baseball when I got to the age when the pitchers could start throwing curve balls. I had to walk away from my anagama in a split with my ex, money has been tight and jobs even tighter, surviving the grayness of winter and the lack of summer in western Oregon, trying to figure out what to make (that I actually like) in the earthenware world, and the ongoing musings of what art is in the "wine valley" of Oregon, more importantly, what sells!
Recently a friend of mine passed away from leukemia. I was able to make it out and spend the last two days of life with him, just over twelve hours before he died, myself and a small group of family and friends were glazing the last of his pots and firing the kiln. Through the years he and I had more than a few talks about ceramic art and one day about 15 years ago, I was making some tea bowls in his studio, he walked in and started looking at the bowls on the ware board. I asked him what he thought about them, he quietly looked at them for a bit and started running his finger around the inside of the lip of 2 or 3 of them, warping them to out of center, he said "Now they look good." and walked out. As I sat at his wheel feeling slightly offended that someone would have the gaul to touch my pots, I started looking at what he had done and quickly came to the conclusion that he was right. I have been finishing the lips of my tea bowls that same way ever since. During his last day while we were glazing pots I asked him what he thought about these new crystalline glazes that are available for low fire stuff, he thought they were cheesy, I agreed. I got to thinking about this and how it relates to thoughts I've been having about what to do to sell some pots in the wine valley, I was able to re arrange my ideas about this type of glaze and just started using one of them on some tumblers and bowls, I sold them all. What better to go with wine than cheese. This man was Martin Holt and he had a profound effect on more than a lot of people.