Craig Martell on sun 23 mar 03
I think it's important for people to be able to send posts of a personal
nature to Clayart. As you folks know, it happens all the time and is
helpful to both the sender and reader. I subscribe to two other lists that
are basically dedicated to genealogy. One of the lists will not tolerate
ANY off topic stuff. Everyone is very helpful and polite but the tone is
very clinical and clerical. No idea at all about the nature of the person
that is posting. Just a thought.
I've read all of the posts to Clayart about "Art and War". It's helpful to
know what others are feeling and I'm very interested in the thoughts
conveyed here. I also understand why some folks don't want this sort of
discussion on Clayart. While I do understand the idea of "just clay", I
also find it hard to sidestep an issue that invades our lives in such a
urgent way. But we all have different histories that will effect this.
I was watching the first air strikes on Baghdad the other evening in the
comfort of my living room and as I looked at the glow in the sky behind the
buildings, I was transported to a situation I'd experienced over 34 yrs ago
in the Quang Tri area of Vietnam. I was 20 yrs old. We were hammering the
highlands with some heavy stuff and there was that same glow in the
sky. But I was there instead of in my living room and along with the glow,
there was the acrid smell of burned cordite and smoke and the blast of air
and heat from the muzzle flashes as the guns discharged. I remember
thinking about anything or anyone that was on the receiving end of the
stuff flying thru the air. As I returned mentally to the present, I
thought about what it must be like for anyone in Iraq. American or
Iraqi. I wondered too, how many more times would we have to go down this
same road before we're done? Maybe this will be the last trip. It's been
hard to make pots. That's how this stuff has been effecting me anyway. I
make pots and I want to keep at it but it's hard to focus sometimes.
regards, Craig Martell Hopewell, Oregon
of war and peace the truth just twists
it's curfew gull it glides
upon four legged forest clouds
the cowbow angel rides
with his candle lit into the sun
though it's glow is waxed in black
all except when 'neath the trees of Eden..........bob dylan, The Gates of
Dana H Flemming on sun 23 mar 03
It would seem to me that the topic of war (any war) would be of relevance
in any forum and most particularly within the art world. Whether social
unrest involves a mild degree of aggression or the extremes we are seeing
today many artists over the centuries have felt a need within themselves
to express their feelings on the topic. When faced with the unthinkable
one can either face it head-on or ignore it but the realization is that
it will have some impact on the art being produced and on the people
producing the art.
I think it is very important to understand and hear what other artists
think and feel about this war. Censorship and dozens of other relevant
topics are currently being discussed here on Clayart and rightly so. I
cannot see how excluding a subject that has social relevance to everyone,
much less artists, can be anything but counterproductive and in its own
way, a form of censorship.
Clayart is such a valuable resource for all involved, worldwide, that it
would be a pity to find such limitations within the Clayart community.
If there are a few heated debates, so what? As has been pointed out many
times on here, there is always the delete key for those not interested.
(usually a lurker)
Frank Ozereko on sun 23 mar 03
Re: art and war
There are many venues available to any individual who wishes to voice h/her
opinions about politics, religion, contemporary culture, society and this
current war. These venues are not restricted to the internet, as witnessed
by the demonstrations that are taking place on the main avenues of the grea=
cities of the world. I usually am a lurker in Clayart and only occasionally
add my two cents to any discussion that is of interest to me. Personally, =
do not know of any acquaintance of mine who is in favor of this war and,
having just returned from Europe a few days ago after the war had started,
did not find anyone of any nationality who was in favor of it either. One o=
my most moving experiences was talking to an elderly man who volunteered as
a guide in a miniature 350 year old chapel on a cliff in Malta where, he
mentioned, just off the coast within our sight, the German navy in WWII
tried to bomb allied warships as they sailed to the safety of Malta's
harbors. He was not in favor of this war, having lived through one and
having known first hand how wars sometimes have to be fought.
I try to be an informed citizen. I read the newspapers, watch television,
talk to friends, write my congressmen to become informed and voice my
opinion. I would sign off from Clayart if every other message in it echoed
everything that I was hearing in all of these other war - oriented media an=
forums. I do not, and doubt that others, come to clayart for any discussio=
of politics, religion, entertainment, social phenomenon or other issues. W=
could discuss Arneson's anti war pieces but,in reality, if we wanted to hea=
/read a lot of opinions about the advisability, arrogance, justifiability,
inhumanity etc. of this war, we should go to one of those talk channels on
TV. However, I do not enjoy going there and do not stay long after finding
myself there. I would hate to see clayart become a poor imitation of one of
these talk shows.=20
Just because we all share a common interest in fabricating objects out of
clay does not mean that we share similar views about all other issues. Does
anyone here want to make some outrageous ill-considered statement to a wife
/ husband / brother / sister of a US soldier or Iraqi citizen? Does anyone
feel so voiceless and impotent that the only vehicle for making statements
about this war is a chat-line dedicated to dealing with the issues of makin=
objects out of clay? Are clayart's members so na=EFve that they suppose that=
because some clay artist uses the same clay body h/she will share their
opinions about this war? Does anyone think that h/she is so verbally astut=
that h/her well crafted or spontaneous writing ( this includes mine) is
going to be understood in the well-intentioned context in which it is
written? E-Mail is notoriously unable to capture the nuance and subtlety of
meaning in a subject as difficult as this.
Direct your well-chosen phrases and opinions to your congressman, not to
your fellow potter. The likely consequences of opening up this forum to the
talk of war could be that we will be misunderstood, unjustly ostracized or
feel uncomfortable using from this particular forum, which would be a
terrible thing. Half of the comments that we lurkers read on clayart (aside
from glaze calculations) are apologies for misunderstood statements about
issues a lot less consequential than a war.
Ned Ludd on sun 23 mar 03
Dana H Flemming wrote:
>It would seem to me that the topic of war (any war) would be of relevance
>in any forum and most particularly within the art world.
Clay means ... clay.
Art means ... everything. What else!?
Clayart brings together clay and everything. Just my view!
"Where there's muck there's brass." - old Yorkshiremen's adage.
Ned, who keeps his delete key pinkie well exercised, thus sanity
Vince Pitelka on sun 23 mar 03
Most of the posts on this subject, including Frank Ozereko's very well
stated one, are missing the primary point. Of course this is a clay
discussion list, but it has evolved into so much more than that. If we
confined discussion on Clayart purely to technical or historical matters of
clay it would get boring very quickly. One of the things that keeps so many
of us interested long-term is the ecclectic, ever-changing quality of this
list. It evolves with time and membership, and it certainly evolves
depending on what is going on in the world. Look what happened after 9/11.
All I am saying is that it may come to a point where Clayart members need to
talk to those who are close to them about what is going on in the world.
For many Clayart members, some of our closest friends are other Clayart
members, and when we post messages to this list, we are posting messages to
an extended family. What better venue could there possibly be for
discussing matters of concern and fear that occupy our minds? The
commonality of clay makes it all the more valuable.
If you contend that even in a time of global emergency Clayart should be
confined entirely to matters of clay, then you are saying that Clayart
should be a refuge, a distraction from what is going on in the real world.
That is an attempt to make Clayart something that it is not. If you seek
refuge in a discussion of clay while the world is going to hell around you,
aren't you hiding your head in the sand?
Best wishes -
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home - email@example.com
Office - firstname.lastname@example.org
615/597-6801 x111, FAX 615/597-6803
Cher Gauvin on mon 24 mar 03
In a message dated 3/23/2003 11:54:42 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> One of
> my most moving experiences was talking to an elderly man who volunteered as
> a guide in a miniature 350 year old chapel on a cliff in Malta where, he
> mentioned, just off the coast within our sight, the German navy in WWII
> tried to bomb allied warships as they sailed to the safety of Malta's
> harbors. He was not in favor of this war, having lived through one and
> having known first hand how wars sometimes have to be fought.
I was rather surprised to read your mention of Malta. I know the
stories of war time in Malta well...I am of Maltese descent and most of my
family spent years living in the catacombs during the war. Many of my
relatives were born or died in those ancient ruins, living on a ration of
moldy bread, mothers going without to give their share to the children.
Malta, the only refueling station in the Mediterranean, was the most heavily
bombed nation in the world.
Having said that, I think key words are in the last sentence of your
quote above..."wars sometimes have to be fought." While I agree with most of
what you have so well stated, this war does effect us all in many ways...it
even effects how my pots turn out. The tenseness I feel shows in the
clay...tight, ridged pots coming off the bats these days. As long as the
dialog is rational, without bashing or name-calling, I think there is room in
this forum to discuss what must be on most folks minds these days.
Cher Gauvin, looking at a pair of brass Chinese vases from my
great-grandmother's house in Malta. The top was blown off one when their
home was bombed.
Ben Ashfield on mon 24 mar 03
CLAYART Digest - 22 Mar 2003 to 23 Mar 2003 (#2003-83)Artists can understand
that one must apply her whole being to a task in order to truly be in the
moment. We feel the pulse of life energy in the sponaneity and creativity of
the moment. If one of us is prevented from this application by confusion,
grief, or anger, I welcome her expression in this forum. Honest expression
from the core is a moving experience for us all. Quite the opposite of a
rant about the dangers ranting.
Alistair Gillies on mon 24 mar 03
Here was I thinking - I can put up with people discussing the fact that
perhaps we should not be discussing the war when suddenly I could relate
My mother was a young nurse in Malta during ww2. I do not know much
about her experiences but we have photos that show her off-duty time -
which was [I assume when she was lucky] - sun and beaches. I am aware
that the populace did not have a happy time.
>> One of
>> my most moving experiences was talking to an elderly man who volunteered as
>> a guide in a miniature 350 year old chapel on a cliff in Malta where, he
>> mentioned, just off the coast within our sight, the German navy in WWII
>> tried to bomb allied warships as they sailed to the safety of Malta's
> I was rather surprised to read your mention of Malta. I know the
>stories of war time in Malta well...I am of Maltese descent and most of my
>family spent years living in the catacombs during the war. Many of my
>relatives were born or died in those ancient ruins, living on a ration of
>moldy bread, mothers going without to give their share to the children.
>Malta, the only refueling station in the Mediterranean, was the most heavily
>bombed nation in the world.
Dave Finkelnburg on tue 25 mar 03
I was moved by your recollection prompted by CNN. I have been pondering
this for a few days myself...how some people do not seem to have the ability
to visualize what they have never seen...others seem to be blessed (or is it
cursed?) with this ability.
Some see flashes on a TV screen, of no more import than a video game or
4th of July fireworks. Others see that, and beyond that in their mind's eye
very real (to them) carnage, and human pain and suffering and fear and
terror, all in excruciating detail. So it is that a television screen shows
two equally intelligent, empathetic, caring human beings the same scene and
one sees an informative newscast, the other sees something so gut-wrenching
they nearly vomit.
Why is it that some of us see differently? There must be a logical
reason some human brains are wired this way. There must be something in our
past that favored survival as a species for individuals capable of
visualizing beyond the scene at hand. I don't know the answer. I do know
that folks who see only the newscast, and not beyond it, have a very hard
time understanding why others can be so affected by the same images. I can
only imagine what it's like to have those memories in Technicolor, complete
with sound and smell.
Yours for better human understanding,
Dave Finkelnburg, listening one more time to, "The Gates of Eden"
----- Original Message -----
From: "Craig Martell"
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2003 10:08 PM
> I was watching the first air strikes on Baghdad the other evening in the
> comfort of my living room and as I looked at the glow in the sky behind
> buildings, I was transported to a situation I'd experienced over 34 yrs