Thursday, August 17, 2017

Being an artist!


There is something we artists have in common. I mean the hard core artists. The ones that have given their entire lives to being artists. Every chance I get I go see Fred Eaglesmith. Tonight I went to a show with just he and his very hot and talented wife Gin Tif from south Texas.
His charity picnic is all weekend here at Springwater and it is not to be missed by those of us that like music, friendship and story telling.
I liked what he wrote in his program for his show tonight in Mytown.  People ask him how to have a career like his. Here is his answer.:
Start writing songs when you are 10 years old. Grow up with poverty, agriculture, religion and eight siblings. Run away from home. Hop freight trains. Start a business. Lose a business. Struggle to get a gig. Drive to Nashville with no money and a pocket full of songs. Get a record deal. Lose a record deal. Win a Juno Award. Break down on the side of the road everyday for days on end. Become a cult hero and amass a following of self-proclaimed Fred Heads. Tour relentlessly. Become everyone’s favourite. Become nobody’s favourite. Follow your gut. Smarten up. Don’t care what anybody thinks. Be fair. Be loyal no matter what. Keep going. Soften up. Give people a break. Expect nothing. Give everything, Keep going. Allow yourself to be happy. Find out who you are and deal with that. Don’t’ stay in fancy hotels. Write good songs.

I think that pretty well sums up what I have got on my mind. With some exceptions this could be my story. I think I’ve given pretty well everything I could give to be where I am now. I’ve tried to get out of this pottery business. I think I’m winning!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Don’t Quit Your Day Job!





Andrew has been living here since June and Sunday was the first time we got to work together in the work shop.
I asked him to make tester glaze cups for four different clay bodies so I can show participants of a wood firing the glazes that are available on the four different clays. Katy Bryant see he can throw tight and fast. Then see what happens.
I am no longer a match for Andrew in the loose throwing dept so I decided I would hand build some black clay while he threw porcelain loaded up with $30 worth of his precious feldspar chunks. I watched him throw these jars sit back look at them and then wedge them back up. I was enjoying seeing this incredibly casual work. I told him he better not get fired at the London Clay Art Centre because there are probably 3 people in Ontario that would want one of these jars. He had better be nice to me cause I’m one of them. He can give the other to his wife and the other one will probably crack.  Check this dudes knobs.   The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools. -Doug Larson US columnist. I think I know a little about this.
I made these 3 vase stacks using the final feldspar chunks I had given to me from a rattlesnake infested cave on the Athabaska River in Alberta. I had better hang on to my day job as well. Oh yeah, this is my day job!

With all this unrest going on south of 49 it it hard too stay focused. If ever there was a time to feel grateful to be living in Canada it is now. I am very proud of my associations with people that don’t button their lips when they see injustice. It is going to take more than a stand on social media. Be of courage my friends!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Kon Tiki Stoke



Help me Lord I’ve done it again! I am in a show at Shane Norrie Contemprary and all of my pots are destined for one wood firing.  For our final Grad Show at USU Denny Gerwin and I had all of our work in the one big double wide train kiln. Gambling big time on one firing. No pay, no investment in the kiln but we had the good fortune to have a dream team of woodies at USU  who  had our backs BIG TIME.  You see this crew still at the top of the pecking order of pot making in the US. Here are some of the players- Trevor “Never” Dunn, “Mississippi “ Ernie Gentrie, Perry “Willie Nelson” Hass, Heidi “Landlady” Krietchet, Danny “Crumpet” Crump, Bobby “Freedom Fighter” Free, Alix “The Kid” Brodeur, and Jonnie Larson. If I have forgotten someone Denny please pipe in.
I remember the final stoke labeled the Kon Tiki Stoke. A huge wooden Kon Tiki sculpture that had been carved in the Sculpture Dept that was the length of the firebox maybe 5 or 6 feet long and probably close to 3 feet wide was lifted by Jonnie, Bobby, Danny, Denny, Ernie and Trevor into the firebox. Everyone was exhausted but laughing hysterically.
 We had a show at USU that John Neely titled”The Last of the Noughties” . Not sure if he meant we were disobedient, ill-behaved or bad or whether it was referencing the Gregorian calendar that began Jan 1, 2000 and ended Dec 31, 2009 our graduating year. John is very clever with words so I am sure it was a double entendre. I wish this crew could be assembled again for a firing at USU. I’m sure Logan, Utah has recovered from our presence there.  

I finally finished hauling the wood from the Amish and low and behold there was in the pile at the very end this rail post. It will be my final Kon Tiki stoke of the firing and I will be thinking of my USU  wood brothers and sisters scattered all over America continuing to be awesome.