Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Icheon Master Hand: Lee Hyuang Gu

I saw this video on the AMOCA studio facebook page and wanted to share it. 

It's now two weeks after working with Mr. Lee and four other Masters from Icheon, South Korea... and I'm still processing what happened.

When they left, they left me with about 25 or so pots to trim..small to large.  Mr. Lee left me his tools that he had had made for the trip so he wouldn't have to travel with his own.  The pots still sit under plastic, getting a mist of water a couple of times a day.  And here I sit, looking at them...  

That's how potters go I guess.  I remember once making a whole load of bowls during school....and there was some party we had to go to.  But I couldn't leave because of the bowls..they were ready.  I told 2 or 3 of my friends waiting that I had to trim them....if they trimmed with me we'd get to the party faster.  so that's what happened.  i let go of them.

I'm not trying to compare myself to Mr. Lee.  What I'm thinking of is that after so many pots made, the action becomes so natural that you can just let it go and say... hey, just finish's really not that important.  what was important was the action of making.  every little bit counts.  I guess I should stop psyching myself out about finishing them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

back to write

hi everybody!  i keep hearing from people to keep this blog running.  for the last number of months i haven't. so sorry.  my move from montana, dealing with all that was happening left little time to write.  i guess i'm starting to feel comfortable enough again to share with you what's happening in my clay life.  i'm starting to get into a good routine.  let me apologize if my writing seems rusty..... because it is!

i'm finishing up my fourth month in Los Angeles.  my transition from Montana has been smooth.  lots has happened with all that.  one big thing is that i'm working as the studio manager, under Heidi Krietchet at the American Museum of Ceramic Art.   The museum has a huge ceramic studio attached to it and i'm feeling really good about this opportunity.  you could say i'm living the dream. living it every day! the clay community is wonderful and there's a lot of dedicated students and artists working here.  the facilities are really wonderful too.  we have 7 kilns that are running..4 electric..3 giel gas that can be programmed from finish to start with whatever ramps, holds and atmospheric settings i could ever want.  we do at least one cone 10 reduction firing a week in the 20 cubic foot.

just recently there was a big opening at AMOCA that showcased some really wonderful work being made in Icheon, South Korea.  Coupled with the big Gala event that happened a week ago, we had what seemed to be a week long workshop and demonstration by 5 super amazing master clay artists.  the following is a video of one of them throwing, Mr. Lee.  He was by far my favorite.  

 Mr. Lee was so grateful of my help and impressed with my working style that he invited me to visit his studio and home.  I don't know if that's normal or not, but I was honored to be invited.  I hope at some point next year I can go visit.

this plate was shipped along with the show.  i bought it from the museum's store.  not a bad looking dinner huh?  fresh greens and avocado, wild rice, hot mustard marinated chicken thighs and onions.  mmmm.  and it was fun to see the rest of the plate appear as I ate the food.

to make a long story short I ran around for about five days, wedging lots of clay and keeping the work areas running so they could demonstrate and teach.  I speak hardly any Korean, and they speak hardly any English....yet it wasn't difficult to communicate when it had to do with their working needs. there was a number of moments when one of these guys would call my name, speak very quickly to me in Korean and I would know exactly what they needed.  people were shocked, thinking that I spoke Korean.  I had to explain that I didn't, but I do speak Potter.  doesn't that sound funny?  I guess a way of working is a language in itself.  It was a once in a life time experience.

and while all these wonderful times were happening...  I found out today that Val Cushing passed away.  I never got to meet him but I understand the incredible contribution he made to our field and the huge impact he had on so many people.  Thank you, Val.  You will be missed.