Potter’s Book Club: Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in Books, Inspiration | 0 comments

“Becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.” David Bayles and Ted Orland Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (A&F) is a book about the difficulties faced when making art.  I have read this book several times because it offered so much insight and hope.  It is a good book for anyone who lives with an unquenched craving to make something beautiful, significant, or valued but struggles with fears of failure or rejection. I used to believe that...

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Dragon Wisdom

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in About Me, Books, Teaching | 1 comment

      “Anyone with the time and inclination can acquire the technical proficiency.  To achieve greatness though, that requires artistry, imagination, and thoughtfulness.”                                        - Christopher Paolini I was listening to the audio book of Inheritance when I heard this reality explained.  Although it was said by a dragon and in the context of becoming a great warrior, this is exactly where I am in my pottery life. For some reason, there is a prevalent belief that anyone can sit at a potter’s wheel and immediately make large bowls (although no...

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Christmas List for a Potter

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Books, Gifts, Holiday, Scale, Tools | 1 comment

During gift-giving season, many people are searching for the perfect present.  So, I have been commissioned by the elves to help.  To that, here are some suggestions that would surely make any potter smile on Christmas morning. Stocking Stuffers: Sherrill Mud tools Dolan Trim tools Metal and Wooden Ribs For the VERY Nice Potter: Wheel Kiln Giffin Grip Under-the-Tree Gifts: Throwing Bats Tile Bat System Clay Scale Set of three sieves Sampler sieves For the Literary Potter: 500 Book Series Subscription to Clay Times Subscription to Pottery Maker’s Illustrated For the Experimental Potter: Glaze...

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Potter’s Book Club: A Potter’s Workbook by Clary Illian

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in About Me, Books, Workshop | 1 comment

If I formed an actual book club for potters, Clary Illian’s A Potter’s Workbook would definitely be on the reading list.  It would be great fun to work through the assignments with other potters and then have a group discussion. Illian defines A Potter’s Workbook as  “a utilitarian pottery workshop in a book…designed to help students who are learning to throw pots, potters who know how to throw but feel the need for greater understanding, and skilled craftspeople who enjoy thinking about the objects they love” (pg 1).   And, I found it to be all of that and more. The chapters are organized...

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Potter’s Book Club: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Posted by on Jul 15, 2011 in About Me, Books, Philosophy | 0 comments

I have craved a creative life since I started my first journal.  And, as artistic skills didn’t come naturally, I concluded that I wasn’t creative.  Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life dispels a lot of the mystery around the creative/artistic life and essentially reduces it to a lot of hard work. The premise of the book is: “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits” (Tharp).  Tharp is a choreographer who has achieved a lot in her career.  She conceived of and choreographed the musical Movin’ Out as well as several other...

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Potter’s Book Club: Throwing Pots by Phil Rogers

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in About Me, Books, Philosophy, Uncategorized | 2 comments

“Throwing has a language all of its own; a pot can be read like a book and the story that it tells should be about the materials from which it is made and the character of the potter that made it.”   – Phil Rogers I love pottery books – they offer instruction, inspiration, and information.  I often consult them for shape ideas, glazing options, alternative throwing techniques, and vocabulary for class demonstrations.  I found a copy of Throwing Pots in a used bookstore; and, I have since read it several times.  It would certainly be a great read for a potter’s book club....

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