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show me your mug! oh, tony!

updated mon 12 dec 05


Lili Krakowski on sun 11 dec 05


We were talking about something called "multi-tasking" and I cited as =
contrast to the conscious fluid, flowing life, the fragmentation of a =
simple task (mug making) into 140 parts. (Can we call it Super-Gaul?)

No response was expected--but you wrote that the details of pot making-- =
in the making of the actual pot --are great in number and that attention =
to these details is of utmost importance in the achievement of a really =
good pot. I most certainly agree. But I was not talking about that. =
I was talking about multi-tasking. I am sure you did not mean to imply =
that this fragmentation you defend is necessary, and that people who =
harmonize their life and work into a flowing unit do not pay attention =
to detail. I am sure Mel pays as much attention to the details in his =
pots as you do to yours and I to mine.=20

In your piece with its 140 details, # 4 in the list is wedging, #5 is =
throwing, #6 is moving the pots to drying rack or wet box. Had you had =
spoken of the centering, the opening, the raising of the mug, I would =
not have cited your article. It would have been about something =
entirely else than what it was.

But--as I said above and before--you did not write about the details of =
throwing the mug, any more than you described other details . I cited =
your article only as an example of what I consider excessive =
fragmentation--of the taking apart of the continuity of life.... =20

Now, you want me to send you a mug which you would pay for, so that you =
can determine--oh, woopdidoo-- whether it is any good. Up to Clennell =
standards! So Tony Clennell, Himself, can judge my work? Why do you =
think I want, need, or even am curious about your approbation? Is my =
own not enough? Do YOU need the approval of others before you know a =
pot you made is ok? =20

If you ever really had wanted one of my mugs, you could have asked me =
where they were sold, and I would have told you....Why this sudden urge? =
Do you even know whether I make/made mugs?

Anyway, alas, you are a few years late. The agility of my fingers is =
gone, it is the best I can do to button buttons, I no longer make mugs =
for the public--only for friends who understand the less-than-perfectly =
pulled and aligned handle.

And here is the quote from you that made me ask about guilds.

"Level of difficulty is behind my posts on clayart. Want to be top =
seller at
Guild sale- floor number 1, want to be recognized as one of NY states =
teapot maker-floor #2, want to be recognized nationally- floor# 3, want =
be recognized internationally -floor# 4. The amount of work to get from =
floor to the next is HUGE! Then after you get on each floor if you ever =
takes a HUGE amount of effort to stay on there."

That is why I asked was something wrong with guilds, because being =
top-seller there seems to be on a lower level in your estimation than =
being recognized as one of NY State's top teapot makers. Again, this =
breaking up of continuity.

You really, truly, do not understand what I am talking about. Why on =
God's green earth does anyone making good pots want to be recognized as =
one of NY State's top teapot makers, or nationally, or internationally? =
(These days I am glad if I recognize myself in plate glass =
windows--because there is a dumpy old woman impersonating me, and =
having the nerve to wear my clothes!)=20

I do not care about recognition. Yes, when I was very, very young I =
thought of it. But if you read my Comment "Shrinkage" in the May 2003 =
Ceramics Monthly, I have learned that the work is everything, the long =
inward journey, the shutting out of distractions like competition, and =
the search for approval.

When I visit Small Minds--and I am happy to hear off-list from potters =
who have found their way, taken the trip, and visited Hob and the =
Missus, and know what it is all about---I find a joyous harmony--good =
pots, and good talk, good food, and lots of laughter.=20

I am sure there is a road from Ontario to Small Minds. Hope you find =

PS. HELEN BATES: Yes. I wrote that Shop One thing along with Barbara =
Cowles....And that picture is my cut-off, smiling head, taken out of a =
larger picture that shows Barbara and Hobart's wedding. Barbara and =
Hobie became dear friends in 1951--and the friendship continues....

Lili Krakowski

Be of good courage