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ceramic art films/peeler

updated wed 11 oct 00


cHuCk on sun 8 oct 00

The following is a transcription of the flyer that went out with the
Peeler's 16mm films back in 1982. I have also posted a letter Marj Peeler
wrote me about the making of the films and her involvement in them. This
will give anyone interested in them an idea of what they are and about.

Chuck Wagoner



The eight color films in the ceramic art series are a wonderful opportunity
to introduce your students to the exciting world of ceramics.

The producers, Richard and Marj Peeler are full time studio potters with
many years' experience. Mr. Peeler was a teacher of ceramics for over 20
years; the last fourteen years were as Assoc. Professor of Art at DePauw
University. He is past president of the National Council of Education for
the Ceramic Arts.
By showing ceramic artists at work, these films provide unique insight into
the methods, materials, and equipment basic to the art and craft of
ceramics. Artists' commentaries are included to give an insight into their
thinking and philosophy in planning and executing their work. The
presentation of good examples of both historical and contemporary pottery
and sculpture will stimulate the student's awareness of and sensitivity to
ceramic art, and will inspire him to work in clay himself.

Ceramics, What? Why? How?

This introductory film presents an overall picture of materials and
processes used in the production of ceramics. Opening with a sequence on a
primitive method of firing pottery, the film turns next to the basic
substance of ceramics ----clay--- and shows different kinds of clay, where
and how it is obtained and how it is made ready for use. Several forming
methods are demonstrated. Pieces are bisque fired in a kiln and then glazed.
Composition of glazes is discussed and we see some of the ways in which
glazes can be applied. The word "kiln" is defined and five different kinds
are seen. In final firing the intense heat melts the glazes, fuses them to
the pots, and brings out the colors.
color * 16 minutes*

The Coil Method

This film shows how an artist develops an idea and translates it into form
using clay ropes or coils, one of the basic methods in ceramic art. It gives
the viewer an appreciation of coil-built ceramics, both ancient and
contemporary and presents an approach to good design using organic forms for
inspiration. Mr. Peeler is shown sketching and planning his design and then
building the piece. He explains every phase of the work. Emphasis is given
to a flowing pleasing contour and suggestions for variations and adaptations
of the method are made.
color * 21 minutes *

Handbuilding Methods

This film presents a basic introduction to several hand-building methods ---
ways to create pottery and sculpture forms by hand with a minimum of tools
and equipment. Includes pinching, with variations, use of soft slabs, use of
slabs over existing objects used as molds, hollowing a solid form, use of
stiffened slabs, some ways of texturing. Does not include the coil methods.
(see film "The Coil Method") Emphasizes the joy of creating forms without
the use of a wheel.
color * 16 minutes *

4. Creating Mosaics and Tiles

The immense variety and versatility of ceramic tiles and mosaics are the
subject of this film which will increase the viewer's sensitivity to pattern
and texture, and stimulate awareness of mosaic or patterned tile walls
encountered in community or the home. Throughout the film, good
craftsmanship is stressed. Mr. Peeler first demonstrates hand methods of
making clay tiles, and then shows planning and layout stages of the project
for which the tiles are to be used. Procedures for stacking, glazing,
cementing in place and grouting are demonstrated and many methods of
creating texture and patterns with simple, improvised tools, found objects
and clay stamps are shown.
color * 15 minutes *

5 and 6

Potters of Japan, Parts 1 and 2
These two films, shot on location in Japan, will reveal the influence
Japanese pottery has had on ceramics all over the world, and give insight
into Japanese culture through the ceramic methods and philosophies of the
five potters shown in each film. Each man is famous for his mastery of a
particular technique and the viewer gets a rare opportunity to observe him
closely as he works. These men frequently depend upon heat, flames, and wood
ash to finish their work, and the pottery reflects the wide range of
results, which is inevitable in this unique partnership with nature. Because
each man carries on the work of his ancestors, pottery is seen being made
much as it was centuries ago. A particular attraction of these films if the
firing of the multi-chambered Japanese kilns.

Mori Pottery of Shikoku
Kei Fujiwara at Bizen
Mr. Ichino at Tamba
Ancient elbo-made pots near Kyoto
Yuzo Kondo at Kyoto Bidai
color * 16 minutes 8

Mr. Rokusai at Shigaraki
Takuo Kato at Tajimi
Mr. Kaneshigi at Bizen
Mr. Shimaoka at Mashiko
Raku Pottery at Kyoto
color * 15 minutes *

7 and 8

Potters of the U.S.A. Parts 1 and 2
Four outstanding American potters are presented working and discussing their
craft in each of these two films shot in the artists' own studios. Those
visited are all sound, successful craftsmen, with many years' experience.
Because each one discusses his own personal philosophy and talks about his
work, a feeling of intimacy is created between the artist mad the viewer A
wide variety of forming and glazing methods are demonstrated and many of
each artists' finished pieces are shown in addition to those in progress.
The works range from vase shapes on which the artist has inscribed poetry
and quotations to a hundred-foot-long ceramic mural.

Charles Lakofsky, William Wyman, Vivika and Otto Heino
color *16 minutes *

Warren Mackenzie, Paul Bogatay, Toshiko Takaezu, Frans Wildenhain
color * 17 minutes *

(This is what they used to cost as 16mm Films. Now we are selling 1-4 and
5-8 as two tapes for 40.00 each)

RENTAL $14,00 Each SALE $250.00 Each
Prices U.S.A. Dollars
Effective June 1, l982

iandol on mon 9 oct 00

Reading down the list of filns given by Chuck, the reference to Potters =
of Japan touched a deep memory. They were made available to art teachers =
in South Australia. I used them on several occasions. It is my opinion =
that in their historic context they are a very valuable archival =
resource. It is, by the way, Elbow Pots, small bowls made by a =
delightful old lady near Kyoto, not ebow.

Now knowing of the others in the series I will check our local archives. =
I know a lot of the holdings were put on video some years ago.

Ivor Lewis

Christine ROSE on mon 9 oct 00

Thanks to Chuck Wagoner for his updte on the films. I had used the =
"Ceramics, What? Why? and How?" for years in my high school class until =
the county of LA discontinued films and did not replace with videos.
Am I correct in thinking that I can purchase a video now? How? Help!
Christine Rose
Glendale High School
1440 E. Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205