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philosophical musings on a needle tool

updated fri 16 jan 98


Dale McCleskey on thu 15 jan 98

Dale McCleskey
01/14/98 08:20 AM

Heaven forbid that I should resurrect the thread about signing pots, but
last night in the studio I had a revelation. I was putting handles on mugs
and signing the bottoms (GASP) with a needle tool. I've reflected on the
comments of some about how gross they consider such behavior. I've even
waffled and (people-pleaser that I am) signed a load or two with RIO.

Last night's revelation was simple, like me. I like signing my pots with a
needle tool. I don't care what other potters think of my gross behavior. I
don't even care that much what the customer's think. I choose to throw pots
for me. All the other stuff is just necessary nuisance.

With a little more reflection, and a month for this thought to ruminate
around in my head, I realize why I like to sign pots that way. It is the
most simple and basic method I have discovered. I loved the post recently
about working with our hands and... just our hands. That is such a big part
of what I love about clay. Its just me, my wheel, a few simple tools, and
my hands. I love signing them the same way. Sometimes I may even use a
rusty nail.

There, I've said it. I've confessed my slobdom. I don't necessarily feel so
much better. But it is me deciding how I will do my stuff. Think tonight,
after I get off work on my real job, I'll go make a series of pinch pots.
Won't use anything that isn't growing out of the end of my sleeve.

What a wonderful, stimulating dialogue on this list.

Dale McCleskey (In Nashville gazing out at music row)