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aesthetic choices (was: gurus gone? is it safe?)

updated sun 17 mar 02


Wes Rolley on sat 16 mar 02

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At 12:50 PM 3/14/02 -0600, you wrote:
Jeff Longtin's recent post included the following paragraph.

>This, by the way, is why I strongly disagree with Mel. I think its wrong to
>try to duplicate elements from ancient times and somehow try to make them
>our own. The ancients made pots the way they did for reasons we can only
>guess about. For us to assume their aesthetic choices were indeed choices is
>to make alot of assumptions.

This is an area to which I have given considerable thought. I grew up
looking at the pots, and shards, at the Museum of N. Arizona in
Flagstaff. I agree with Mel that studying old pots is one of the best ways
to learn to make great pots. The objective not be to copy superficial
aspects of the decorative style or utilitarian forms, though one can make a
good case for such copying. (Bach studied composition by adapting the
violin concerto's of Vivaldi for other instrumentation.) Rather, as the
Japanese Master, Rosanjin, said (and I paraphrase), one should study the
pots of antiquity, not to copy their superficial characteristics, to
understand their essence and to strive for that in you own work. Of
course, it is not always easy to understand exactly what makes a particular
pot be what it is.

Wesley C. Rolley
17211 Quail Court
Morgan Hill, CA 95037