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you can pick your teachers

updated sun 23 oct 05


Taylor from Rockport on fri 21 oct 05

...and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your teacher's nose (so
I'm told.)

Hey Richard, Tony, and others:

Richard's story has been an encouragement to me ever since I looked him up
on the web. I figure if Richard Aerni can do so very well, I've got a
shot at at least some of that myself. Such solitude can be paralizing
though. Mustn't listen to the voices in one's head shouting, "give it up,
it's too hard to do it alone". On the up side, we've got the great
opportunity of picking a pack of teachers all along the way. Great to
have you as one of my teachers, Richard, even if it was only for a few
hours in Waco.

Taylor, in Rockport TX

p.s. That "long, long, long time" does worry me a tad, however.

On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 08:09:12 -0400, Richard Aerni

>I don't mean to muddy the waters, but I'll chime in on a slightly related
>topic here. I didn't go to "school" to learn how to make pots. I learned
>at a local pottery's evening class, or rather, didn't learn. I was a
>terrible student, couldn't center, couldn't throw, couldn't design worth
>crap, let alone glaze or fire. But, I'd been bitten, so I went home,
>a wheel, mixed clay, kept at it til I got a bit better. But, I was
>for a long, long, long time. When I thought I was good enough to hold my
>own in the workshop class (monthly fee, unlimited access to wheels, etc),
>went there and hung with the best potters, soaking up whatever info I
>and making as many pots as I could until one day one of the "pros" took me
>aside and said, "Dick, you've finally arrived. The owner has started to
>copy one of your designs."

Lee Love on sat 22 oct 05

On 2005/10/22 14:35:01, L-Soft list server at clayart (1.8d)
( wrote:

> opportunity of picking a pack of teachers all along the way. Great to
> have you as one of my teachers, Richard, even if it was only for a few
> hours in Waco.


I always was envious of my Zen teacher's "long distance"
students. Students that didn't live nearby, but came to do occasional
retreats or workshops. They always seem to get intense attention when
they were in town. You can find pottery teachers this way too.

There is an old Tibetan saying, "It is best to have a
teacher who lives 3 valleys away."

I am reading a wonderful PHD dissertation on the
transition in Mashiko of the craft potter to the artist/potter.
When speaking about Goda, who is one of the three original
artist/potters here in Mashiko, it was explained that Goda did not build
his first kiln until he was 57. It is never too late!

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way. "

I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can
do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! "

W. H. Murray

Lee Love
in Mashiko, Japan My Photo Logs

"We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us
that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment
with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our
quiet." -- W.B. Yeats