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was re:signing again - oldest pot , now: birthing potters...

updated wed 24 dec 03


Pamela Watkins on mon 22 dec 03

Seems like you are touching strings as I read the weeks posts, Lee.......

My son Oliver 8 yrs old, made the finest sculptural Large Mouth invitation to the studio that I should entertain more frequently. I had to put..."not for sale" at the last show, against his wishes. It gave me much delight to pass on to him (as he insisted, I put the fish out, but I resisted in the "for sale" ) ...when I heard comments to the liking of his work and patrons assuming it was mine. I was so proud! I suppose in a way, it was the results of what I do... he is a part of me..... but I would never be able to show the freedom and simplistic representation of the absolutely wonderful, spontanious, yet accurate portraiture of his work.

Just a literary thought.......have you read Clive Barker?


Lee Love wrote:
This topic got me thinking back. At first, I only thought back to the
oldest pots I still have in my possession: I have two from 1990: one of
my first pots at the begining of my clay studies: coil and paddled, about 2
feet tall, burnished with iron with fish scraffitoed inot the surface. I
also have the life sized Hawaiian shirt I made at the same time that is also
decorated with fish in colored underglazes.

But Kurt's mention of the pot from 59 years ago made had me recalling
my first experience with clay, back in 1958. My girlfriend, Deana (an
older woman of 6 years old) thought we should get some clay from the sled
hill that was recently made taller. The kids of my neighborhood called the
hill Pork Chop Hill, after the movie. We were much influenced by movies
and television. We dug some clay from the hill across the street
from Deana's house and took it to her house. She said she'd seen her
older brother take clay and bake it in the oven. I asked her how we could
decorate our work. She said she had white shoe polish we could paint with
before we baked the clay. She probably had white shoe polish for her
saddle shoes. I thought about what I could make that was white. I
probably saw Gregory Peck in Moby Dick as Captain Ahab, either at the movies
or on the T.V. I decided I would make Moby Dick. I remember working
on it at her house, not finishing it so I took it home. Came back to paint
Moby white and then back home to cook it in the oven. It turned out
pretty cool.

I find this amusing on a couple counts: Sea creatures, primarily
fish, have been a symbol in my work for almost 45 years! I remember the
Moby Dick movie and how I empathised with the great white whale. That
probably influenced my interest in the environment. Also, I was naturally
interested in paying attention to my materials and making something
appropriate to my limited choices. Maybe kids are naturally more
interested in doing this.

Lee In Mashiko, Japan
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Lee Love on wed 24 dec 03

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pamela Watkins"

> My son Oliver 8 yrs old, made the finest sculptural Large Mouth Bass......

Cool! Here is another "fish story", one I hope you don't experience.

Your mentioning of the Large Mouth Bass made me think of my son
and his "fish." My youngest son Patrick had a difficult time going through
adolescence. He is in his 20s and is fine now. He came to live with me
when he was 13. I had to call the city police in St. Paul once, to report
him missing later in his teenhood. The officer went down the list for
identification of my son, you know: eye, hair color, etc and he got to the
part "Does he have any identifiable birthmarks or tattoos" I replied,
"yes, a tattoo." Officer, "Can you describe it?" I said, "Yes, it is
a large walleye on the lower part of his right leg." I could hear over
the phone a noise like coffee and donuts being spewed onto a desk." When
he got control, he apologized and said, "Let me see if I have this right, a
large walleye fish?" I said, "Yes, on his lower right leg, on the outside
of his calf." Patrick got a coupon for a free tattoo from an artist who
was working on his friends. He has a unique sense of humor.

Another story. My wife Jean is teaching English to a Japanese
family that just come back from living in Ohio for 5 years, while the
husband worked there for Honda. She teaches the boy privately at
their home and the mother will come to a Friday morning lesson at our home.
The 10 year old boy's name is Takumi, which means "skillful." He was very
excited when he learned that I was a potter and has come over to see the
pottery and watch me work. All kids in Japanese schools have to join a
club. After visiting my workshop, Takumi signed up with the pottery club.
I've been lending him books about Mashiko pottery and pointing him to
interesting links on the web. The last web page was the minigama web
page. The mother said he never was interested in "old fashioned" things
in America, but became enamored with pottery after coming back to Japan.

Lee In Mashiko, Japan
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