Duane Kimball on sun 13 oct 96
EMERGING - is it ever too late to emerge? does everyone want to? though i
am in any danger of "being discovered", certainly not everyone wants to be
in the consciousness of others. with any luck, someone will care about what
we make, but it need not happen while we are still trapped in a human body.
SUCCESSFUL - we cannot make it rain, but we can make pots to catch the rain
when it does happen. to distinguish between acting and reacting, to be
quite content to follow our clear intention regardless of the seeemingly
rude, destructive, or unsupportive behavior of others is the mark of a
FACULTY - where can you show up late, leave early, read to the class from a
text instead of having a demo ready, bring your kid along and still get
tenure? ceramics dept. of a state university. that's right. 40,000 per
annum for 8 months work and full benefits means 50,000 in real benefit and 4
months off. no wonder people complain when the gravy train hits an ice
berg. but this fate of no guarantees is the way of capitalism and corporate
economy (read greed?). most american workers face the conditions of
possible unemployment as a constant threat. why should academics be immune?
if i pay you $15. to work in a local shop, will you be nice to the customers
because you are well paid? what if you are only paid minimum wage? is the
specific wage your license to behave in a certain way? is our spirit really
for sale in this way? indeed, there are faculty who whine about wages and
use it to justify their own behavior. (of course, as the example indicates,
this is a universal problem, not unique to ceramic faculty.)
MONEY - it is possible to make money and make art, but one must choose a
path, and there is a toll booth no matter what road you take. will you
decide what the market wants, such as "mindfulness cups", slipcast and
subcontracted for mass production to the zen community or "ritual divorce
vessels" for the about to be single crowd, but only done on commission?
will you follow the craft fairs, galleries, etc. "best sellers" venue? some
artists think good business sense is a betrayal of their art...all it really
seems to be is proof that few of us have the benefit of knowing good
business and marketing strategies.