Lee Love on thu 12 apr 01
----- Original Message -----
> I was once told an interesting anecdote about the American potter
>superstar Paul Soldner. He was visiting a university to do the "show
>and tell" thing and one of the Graduate students asked him to come
>and have a look at his work, saying to the great man "I would really
>value your opinion on my work". Paul obliged and duly went and looked
>at the students work. After waiting a respectful time the student
>said "well .... what do you think?" "It's not what I think, but what you
>think that matters." Paul answered. This reply may seem an erudite
>and esoteric quip but it raises an important point and one that is central
>to how we evaluate things, to whit, whether we see what we are looking
>at or look at what we see.
To quote the American painter Robert Rauschenberg:-
"Art is educating, provocative and enlightening even when first not understood. The very creative confusion stimulates curiosity
and growth, leading to trust and tolerance. To share our intimate eccentricities proudly will bring us all closer."
End original message
I found the first Takenoko (bamboo shoot) of the year in the woods next to the upper kura (storage building.) I announced
my find at the end of lunch. At the end of second Ocha ( 3pm tea break), Fukiyan, the "retired" Forman, left the Shogotoba
(studio.) I knew where he was going, so I followed. You see, Fukiyan is usually the first one to find the first Takenoko.
I had to show him where they were. I found the shoots walking my dog Taiko. Jean has been bringing Taiko to lunch break
to have lunch with me, because she hasn't been feeling well and needs the extra walk.
I had earlier dug up the largest Takenoko at the beginning of second Ocha, the only one ready to pick. Fukiyan
noticed the hole where the Takenoko had been and said, "Ah, you took the first one." He then started putting a TiPi of sticks
over each Takenoko and then covered the sticks with Sugi (Cedar) needles. I asked Fukiyan, "Is the Sunshine bad for the
Takenoko?" He laughed and said, "No, the sunlight is good for them. It is the people who walk by that are bad for the
Takenoko. We are hiding them so they won't find them."
If you asked Fuikyan his opinion of your work, he'd damned straight tell you, no beating around the bush. There is
nothing he gets greater joy out of than having a roaring laugh at a poorly thrown form. He makes all the mold work & only throws
necks of the mold made vases, but he has "seen" a lot of thrown work in his time. The first time he laughed at my work, I was a
little embarrassed by my lack of skill and ineptitude. But in time, I learned to laugh right along with him and of course, I know
he is right. 61 years of looking and seeing these things accounts for something. He is 75 and started working for Hamada when
he was 14 years old.
Mashiko JAPAN Ikiru@kami.com
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