Sunday, September 13, 2015

Talmadge Art Show, Del Mar Taste and Artisan Stroll and custom pots

Come show and stroll!

 I'll be at the Talmadge Art Show pop-up sale next Sunday, September 20. That's 10-4, at 2211 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla Shores. Not the park by the beach but a small one a few blocks inland. It's still warm enough to swim, there are discounts at local restaurants...

And at the Del Mar Taste and Artisan Stroll, October 4, 9-4. That's on the 101, the Coast Highway, yes in the middle of the street. Also a tasting event by local restaurants.

I usually make pots to my pleasure, exploring shapes and glazes and ideas. I'm also very glad to make pots to your pleasure. We can work out a design together. The pictures here are this summer's (do I have to say last summer?) custom pieces. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Craft Revived

Several months ago I went to an exhibit of pottery at the Portland Japanese Garden. These are pots from Mashiko, a traditional Japanese functional-pottery-making town. In the 1920's, their craft was stimulated by Shoji Hamada (Hamada Shoji, I suppose, in Japanese), a great leader in recreating studio pottery. Who needed handmade pots in the 1920's? Only people who chose them. So the traditional manufacture of pots there was shrinking. Under Hamada's influence and teaching, Mashiko became a center of pottery as art to live with. Here are some of the exhibited pots that grabbed me.

And I realize that I have heard this story several times before, from other places.  With Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada recreated British studio pottery, also nearly disappeared for lack of need or desire for handmade ceramics. Sometimes, they are said to have revived all of European studio ceramics. I'm not so sure, after visits to French pottery towns, where the work has gone on since the Neolithic Era. And where Picasso made art on ceramics. Certainly there has been a great flowering of ceramic art in the industrial age, in these industrialized countries.

And Maria Martinez, in San Ildefonso Pueblo, looked at the history of her dying craft and revived motifs and techniques that set off a boom in Pueblo ceramics as much appreciated art.

And Juan Quezada in Mata Ortiz started absolutely from the beginning. He taught himself to make pottery, with careful observation of potsherds at a nearby archeological site, revived the ancient local styles, and gave his whole town its current occupation and a new/old art.

Wow! From Mashiko.

People often say there are no new ideas in ceramics and that we may borrow (steal?) freely from each other. Each of the pieces from this exhibit looks to me, outside the Mashiko tradition, wildly individual and creative. They are, but also there is the whole local history behind them. Both created and revived.