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re :gary holt workshop-answering david

updated sat 6 aug 05


Linda Blossom on fri 5 aug 05

Dear David,

Despite your one line disclaimer, you have made quite a nasty set of
accusations which seem to be based on inaccurate assumptions. Nowhere in my
email did I say that Gary did not give credit to those who came before him.
You, in yours, did not mention Arne Ase who published the first book I know
of on the use of solubles and was, I think, the first person to use them.
Today he has moved onto other things and his book is out of print. Since
about 1989, Gary has taken the work that Ase did and then went farther by
adding acids and bases to the work. He freely and frequently gives credit to
Ase and did so in his NCECA presentation and here in the workshop.

I am very familiar with Kurt's work and own two of his pieces. The work
that Gary makes does not draw from Kurt's technique. As for the halo - it
was documented in Ase's book.

Gary is not on the "workshop trail". I approached him at the Indianapolis
NCECA and asked him to come to New York. He makes his living at his work
and makes more money by staying home. He is one of the nicest people I know
and shared without reservation what he had learned in his own explorations
with solubles.

As for shinos - Gary developed a means of producing gold and luster on
shinos and those were his own experiments which he also shared in a
publication and at the workshop. He does work quietly at home making his
work - his little outing to NY was my idea. You really did pick on someone
who didn't deserve it.

I normally don't include the person's post that I am responding to, but I
think it is relevant in this case. I am not trying to be unpleasant but I
need to set the record straight.

Ithaca, NY

Well it's been shino this and shino that for almost ten years and a
wonderful body of knowledge has been accumulated. beautiful surfaces on
strong forms. gratitude toward all who did the research.

Now, let's hope for a like serious study of soluables as a family of glaze

However it's well to remind that there are others who have gone before us in
these areas of research and give credit for whose foundation one is building

I direct no accusation toward Gary Holt here.

since no discovery is an entirely new discovery one has to have done subject
research and today's archives contain names of who has previously published.

Kurt Wild published his research in Ceramics Monthly during the earlier
1990's and his works using soluables for a ''water color halo effect'' are
in collections world wide.

Another example is of a much respected person in the far northwest, who gave
a number of young potters a place to work, invented pottery equipent,
formulated clay bodies, '' hair of the dog'' was one such. and designed a
kiln using kiln shelves notch cut to interlock for a gabled roof arch.
this was mentioned in a CM article 1980's about the man and his
contributions to ceramics.

Just several years later someone else who had contact with that area of the
continent, as i remember, and who may have worked with the original
designer, publishes that same design. you know who you are, how about
giving some belated credit?

Some of us prefer a quieter space, share freely, and don't wish to hit the
workshop trail while giving support and encouragement to those that do.
i see failure to give credit as a serious threat to academic integrity.
it's a small step from here to other forms of clawing and biteing one's way
to the top and the whole community suffers the loss.

On the other hand, we have people who are generously giving credit to their
students or where ever their ideas originate. many times students
unwittingly give us ideas they do not yet recognize the implications of.
these are the people in whose company i wish to be.

David Woof