In This Issue

May 18, 2020

The horizon line is always hard to bring into focus, but right now…

 

Right now it is difficult to hide from the truth that the uncertainty of life is, if nothing else, persistent. We never really know what is going to happen tomorrow. Even before the pandemic, tomorrow had never been a guarantee. The only certainty we have control over is how we choose to pursue the uncertain horizon. We keep putting one foot in front of the other until we meet our immovable object, whatever it may be, or the horizon comes into focus. Then we lift our heads and the horizon line is blurry once again.

 

Our stories this month offer five perspectives on bringing horizon lines into focus. Each author tells a story of finding a way to use a tangible material or an actionable process to come to grips with an intangible concept. A bowl is a tangible object. The making of that bowl is an actionable process. We can step into our studios, when nothing else is certain, and execute the meditation of making bowls (or cups, or plates, or going into our kitchens to make sourdough goods). In doing so we grasp at the certitude labor brings, the generosity and hospitality of service, and the love of community gathered around a table; all intangible.

 

Trevor Youngberg shares the love and labor of woodfiring to give access, build community, and add to a global legacy on a community level. Jess Arends has found her way to encapsulate familial traditions in clay. Ted Adler takes us on a journey, reviewing  JB Blunk’s monograph, wherein we can find an example of a life lived beyond categories, but committed to curiosity and active investigation. Heather Nameth Bren models, through a very personal journey, how the physicality of roller-skating and methodical reckoning allowed her to access her creative voice in the midst of a downward spiral. Jonathan Chiswell Jones rounds out the articles with his tale that falls somewhere between Sisyphus and Tantalus. It’s an imperfect metaphor, but close. Chiswell Jones may never get the perfect rainbow, but the allure of potential keeps him locked in a cycle of labor. Thing is – he isn’t tortured. He is delighted in his pursuit. 

 

While you read the May issue of Studio Potter, I hope you are reminded of the joys you find in your own pursuit of the intangible, fuzzy horizon. In spite of uncertainty, we have the power to persist and the gift of handwork and creativity to keep us grounded. 

 

Recent News

Oct 1, 2020

There is a book I used when I was teaching foundations of art called A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech. It’s a book full of exercises to unlock creativity, to help you get out of your own way and quiet your brain while achieving flow in your process. One of my favorite exercises... Read More

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Sep 30, 2020
Jeffery Kleckner, studio potter from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 65 years of age, passed away late August, 2020 while at work in his studio. Born and raised in Allentown Pennsylvania, Jeff maintained a studio in Bethlehem since 1988. His pottery interest was piqued when he took a college level ceramic... Read More
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Sep 30, 2020

 

Our final Studio Potter Author Chat for September was with Erin L. Shafkind, Courtney M. Leonard, and Paul S. Briggs. We zoomed in to talk in depth about topics surrounding the content of Shafkind's article, "Reclaiming the Potter." Enjoy this thoughtful, open, flowing, and in depth... Read More

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