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two "replies"; men/women/mfa; ownership of kilns

updated fri 22 oct 04


Lili Krakowski on thu 21 oct 04

I did not mean that all the problems of women are the fault of men. Nor =
that everything about men is "wrong." What I was addressing is that =
while existentially there is no reason for inequality, the ruts, as it =
were, are being rerouted, not filled in. =20

This morning the TODAY show had a segment on "Moms" trying to re-enter =
the business world after staying home--even for as little as two three =
years--to raise the babes. No one mentioned that this is "unreal"--that =
there is no reason big corporations can't have cr=E8ches, that more =
institutions can't have flex-hours and so on. What I was ranting about =
is that older women are discriminated against in the hiring, even if =
they have that MFA. which I so dislike as a requirement for potters.

Of course a lot is our own fault. We can revamp the educational system, =
we can attend stockholder meetings and demand more women on the =
board....We can do a lot. But first we need to get out of our own rut.


While I agree with Mel, in part I don't. Of course the ideal is to know =
how to grind paint, how to make a Hollandaise, how to compose and mix a =
clay body, a glaze, and so on.

But ideal is not necessarily practical. Nor is it necessarily possible. =
And there is a big difference between saying: Who? Me? I am an artist, =
I am not going to do all this scutwork, and saying Who? Me? I can't do =
that right now/ ever because I have no room, I have too many =
responsibilities, my health won't permit....

If one lives in a place where one cannot have a kiln, then one finds a =
kiln to share. I personally fire my own electric kilns, to which I see =
no magic. Turn on Lo, turn on Medium. turn on Hi. Voila. And while =
digital kilns offer more ways of timing a firing, they too require no =
"skill". It is hard for me to fathom why it is ok for Japanese potters =
to have people come in and fire their great big kilns, as I have read =
happens, why it is alright to have kilns fired by teams--as apparently =
Leach did--and as many woodkilns are fired today, but somehow bad to =
stick pots in another's electric kiln and have the school janitor fire =
(It happens all the time!) Yes, certainly, in fuel firing the matter of =
reduction makes the firing itself a skill, often, depending on glaze, a =
great skill. But it is a far far better thing to make pots and pots =
and pots within the possibilities one has here, now, than to sit on a =
rock at the side of the road and wait for The Ideal Situation to come =

To the one in NYC who has no kiln. If you are that serious about clay =
then you seriously should consider a move. Not necessarily out of NYC =
entirely, but to Queens maybe, or somewhere where you could have a space =
for a kiln. Barring that you probably DO know people who have basements =
where you could house a kiln

Lili Krakowski

Be of good courage