Sunday, March 18, 2012

Touch it: Taste It: See It: Tactile Inspirations

Dutch paper artist, Peter Gentenaar.

Pantone Colors done in raspberries and kumquats...

...and in cookie form ala Kim Neill.

Acid-etched photographs from Wolfagang Ganter.

Clay and cake (with pretty, sugary, petal-y frosting like this,) are my constant obsessions.
Check out the tasty blog: Call Me Cupcake.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gertrud Vasegaard: Dynamic Rest

Gertrud Vasegaard (1913-2007) is pretty much as steeped in Danish ceramics tradition as you can get.  A third-generation potter and little known outside of Denmark, she lived, by all accounts, a monk-like existence, living and breathing ceramics until her death at 94.  (Why do all the lady potters live so long and in good health?  There should be some kind of medical study...Is it the clay - nature's facial? Is it the kiln- are they just well-baked? Hmmmm...)

Vasegaard's simple, modernist sensibility is as present in her work as is her integrity.  Her pots are useful, domestic, but they still have a kind of nobility about them - a strength, and a sense of serenity.  The viewer can feel the quiet, meditative joy that her work gave her, while still being awed by her masterful technique and restraint.  And amazingly, though some of these designs were created 40, 50, even 60 years ago, they could very easily be made today and still be considered modern.

I am so glad I ran across her work - the repetition, the lines, the dynamic simplicity really spoke to me. Remarkably, there has been only a single exhibit of her work outside of Denmark, in the UK in 2011.  Here, a reviewer showed beautiful insight into Vasegaard's designs: "No loudness is to be registered, only dynamic rest."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trust Yourself. You Know More Than You Think You Do.

Trust is not really considered a good business plan.  You hear about it all the time: how people get screwed because they are too trusting: ponzi schemes, little old ladies robbed of their nest eggs, nasty critters like Madoff.  So they create more laws, tighten more controls, stack up more paperwork, presumably to save us from the Big Bad Wolves out there.

I propose differently.

I propose that we need to be aware of the Big Bad Wolves, including that idea that sometimes the Big Bad Wolves are ourselves.  (Maybe we even keep a golf club under the bed, just in case.)  But at some point, in order to grow and learn and be, in order to really get anyplace worth mentioning, we need to relinquish control and trust the Universe that it will all work out.  F'real.

Is that Pollyanna of me?  I used to think so.  And then I somehow trusted that I was an artist, started this whole Mudstar Ceramics nonsense; and I find myself allowing trust to play a much bigger role than I ever thought I could manage.

I trust my process to come up with ideas.  I trust my education and experience to know how to build the ideas.  I trust myself to finish them.  Then there is the trust I have with my customers: I trust their checks will clear, that when they tell me they want the lamp base to be 18 inches, they actually mean 18 inches, that when I ship something that took hours to make, they will appreciate it when they open the box.  

I trust that trying out new things: new selling venues or a new class, or interviewing a new someone I admire, will lead to other good things, which will cause me to grow.  I trust the opinions of people I love.  I trust that most of my mistakes will lead to my learning something.  I trust the energy I am sending out there will come back to me somehow.

And it will.  I'm sure of it.