Potter Wagoner on wed 9 oct 02
I realize that often the core of art is the personal moment of
creativity that the artist himself generates at the moment of
conception. Often their work speaks to an intuitive moment that is more
associated with risk than with a thought out plan or rational cognition.
A critic's interpretation is an afterthought and may not relate to the
actual meaning intended by the artist at all. The painter 'Pierre
Soulages' said, "Sometimes a work is interesting to the degree which it
escapes its creator's intentions and the spectator's interpretations."
In many cases art is at its best when it is not an intellectual process.
Free associations are the most natural and creative process of which the
mind is possible. Yet it would be quite fallacious to conclude from this
that they are also the easiest. Artists come to a point of "intuitive
spontaneity" through years of practice, not through some accident of
It is this duality and paradox of meaning combined with the subjectivity
of interpretation that makes pottery such an interesting subject to
ponder. Many artists find the term "an appeal to the intellect" to have
a negative connotation. But in this case pottery brings to us a wealth
of signs and symbols that communicate on many levels. In the form of
metonyms, synecdoches and metaphors, pottery is rich in meaning. The
study of semiotics tells us that often what we think we mean, we do not
really mean. It is this very duality of the dichotomy of usefulness and
symbolism that makes pottery a multi-leveled source of signs and
symbols. Pottery signifies the human condition of duality, dichotomy
and polarization through its own shared meaning as a three-dimensional
object that is in itself representative of these concepts. Pottery, in
many ways, is one of the ultimate human creations of sculpture because
it illuminates our constant need to balance the concrete with the
abstract, the practical with the spiritual, as we grapple with the
meaning of our existence.