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mel's "old book"

updated mon 23 aug 10


Martin Rice on sun 22 aug 10

Just wanted to say that those of you who haven't yet read mel's "old book (=
as he referred to it in a recent post)," Pottery: A life, A Lifetime, have =
a big treat in store for you.

It's a fascinating melange of solid information about such things as tools,=
kilns, throwing, trimming, handles, etc. -- replete with charming pencil i=
llustrations of the tools and methods discussed in these chapters. An addit=
ional aspect of the melange is made up of loads of truly compelling anecdot=
es about Mel's time as an apprentice at Mr. Uchida's pottery. The hard wor=
k, the learning, the excitement, the adventure of living in a society so ve=
ry different from what one has experienced in one's life up to that point .=
. . all of this beautifully related and extremely interesting to read for =
those of those who have not experienced it first hand.

At the same time, I was struck by the intelligent balance Mel brought to th=
is experience. His great admiration for the Japanese tradition of pottery, =
the Japanese work ethic, and the creativity of the people engaged in the cr=
aft shines continually through his writing. But so does his very mature und=
erstanding that he is not a Japanese potter but an American potter who can =
learn much in Japan but who still has to find his own way in his own tradit=
ions and within his own creativity.

And finally, there's a gallery of 18 beautifully photographed pieces that j=
ust took my breath away. For those of us who haven't seen Mel's work, this =
is a wonderful treat.

Signal Mountain, TN