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ceramics monthly and land use

updated fri 2 apr 04


Kenneth Yancey on thu 1 apr 04

In reference to the April 2004 issue and the cover photo, I must admit I =
find this style of work difficult to understand. I do, however, want to =
keep an open mind and try to see this "ceramiser's" intent on =

I read the article twice to be sure I was understanding it correctly, =
and my personal conclusion is that the writer is possibility not =
understanding the artist. I am having a real hard time with the =
sentence in the second paragraph pg 40. "The work he makes is spatial, =
dynamic, awe inspiring, in a way even narrative, depicting life and =
capturing its essence, making remarkable that which is unremarkable ..."

Well, don't you think the phrase "depicting life and capturing its =
essence" is a bit much, if not a trite statement? Do any of us artist/ =
potters/ ceramisers think we are capturing life's essence? That's a =
pretty bold undertaking. Do you really think this is what the artist is =
trying to achieve? or merely trying to interpret his inspiration of the =
natural world?

The one phrase I have the most difficulty with is "making remarkable =
that which was unremarkable." True, this artist's skill is remarkable. =
But do you really think that from which he gains inspiration, he himself =
considers unremarkable? I imagine Claudi stomping up a mountainside =
suddenly stopping, dropping to his knees then salivating over a rock =
formation, eager to take it home to sculpt something beautiful, but not =
better. I just can't imagine him reaching down, picking up an encrusted =
formation and thinking, I can improve on this.=20

As a park naturalist for the past 25+ years, the concept of =
"unremarkable" nature has been the hardest to combat. This is how =
neighbors can move in, cut down trees, and lay sod. They see trees as =
relatively unremarkable, maybe a resource, but definitely expendable. =
They have no idea of how remarkable a tree can be.=20

In further reading this article the writer briefly describes the =
artist's search for answers and experimenting with processes, like the =
majority of us.=20

It is my opinion he must not only be inspired by his surrounding but =
humbled by them as well. With this in mind, I am now better able to =
appreciate his work. I choose to see a man who loves the planet, and =
allows nature to be his mentor. I also wouldn't be too surprised if he =
called the author and scolded him a bit.

If, in fact, he truly believes he is "depicting life and capturing its =
essence, making remarkable that which is unremarkable ..." well then... =
he's delusional

Ken Yancey