Sunday, August 28, 2016

What a glaze! and a mystery

I've always thought of ohata kaki as one of my favorite glazes. It's a Japanese glaze and name; some part of it means persimmon. It's usually brown, though, in my experience, with a warm orange undertone. Like this:

It's a lovely glaze to work with too; it covers evenly, it doesn't run, and it is spectacularly easy to clean. Everything washes easily off this casserole dish.

Recently, and mysteriously to all involved, pots have been coming out like this

at the shared studio where I take classes. Warm, glossy, orange with depth and a brown undertone. Hmmmm. Any explanations? Pottery is one of those big fields, where there's no end to things to learn and ways to improve and discover. Wonderful.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Peace is the Only Adequate War Memorial: Trying it Out

I was much moved by Ehren Tool's long term project of making cups for and then with veterans about their war experience, by and his much-quoted statement: "peace is the only adequate war memorial." In response to his work, I have started making cups with these words on them, and, following his example, giving them away.

(Yes, I notice this is not peace-making, or at most a very modest and indirect effort in that direction.)

Yesterday I tried this out for the first time, offering cups at the Art in the Village event in Carlsbad, CA. All were taken within the first hour of the sale. People like it, I can tell that. There is a lot more I do not yet know:

The whole plan took explaining, repeatedly; so I suppose I need a poster explaining who Tool is, what he does, how I am responding and how those who take a cup participate.

Even though we were one town away from a Marine base, only one of the recipients seems to be a veteran. The others are just people, mostly women.

So what do they want one of these cups for?  Just a free cup? For some people, I think so; they thought I am surprisingly generous. Some others seemed as touched by Tool's message as I am; the cup is expressive for them too.

Do I care why they wanted a cup? Is it any of my business?

Why do I make them and offer them? I do it to honor Tool, and his project, and to say and spread this message. None of that is about the recipients and what they do. My business is only to make and offer cups. How very simple.