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Judith B

Gustavo Pérez

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Maybe you already know this mexican potter but this video was a great discovery for me:

 

https://vimeo.com/38652568

(sorry, I don't know how to embed videos)

 

I love how he makes incisions in the clay and then pushes from inside to open the cuts a bit.

Anyways, just wanted to share it with you here :)

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Pres and I went to his workshop at NCECA. The pots just flowed from the ends of his finger tips. He took a basic cylinder and  extended it in so many ways. He had a young woman apprentice throwing cylinders for him on a Brent wheel. He also threw, talked, cut, decorated. He filled the stage with beautiful work. He did not say one word to his apprentice. She just walked on periodically and threw blanks for him to cut and distort.

His workshop was one of the highlights of the conference.

Of course meeting Pres was great as well.

TJR.

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Great video, Tom. Also a great reminder of a marvelous few days of POTS and POTTERS. I loved every minute of it, meeting so many of the movers and shakers that are at the center of things now. Looking forward to KC next Spring.

 

Gustavo Perez is truly amazing, and a great humble knowledgeable sculptor/potter/artist. He was a master on stage and of the stage.

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would i be a copy cat if i tried the cut and push out technique on hand built stuff?

Make the technique your own by putting it on your own work. No shame in being influenced by others. That is why we go to workshops and watch endless hours of video of the potters we admire and want to emulate. And, as the old saying goes, Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

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It's not like this guy was the first person to push out clay. He just decided to make it his aesthetic and devote most of his life to pushing the limits of his craft choice. It's nearly impossible to copy someone in pottery unless your trying to make your piece look like theirs. At least this is my opinion. A technique on a completely different pot is never going to be the same clay, glaze, cut, craftsmanship as someone else. Look at yunomi's. Millions of them the same base shape, and still hardly any of them look a like.

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Thank you Judith for sharing the video! Well, that's some dream studio of his! So much space, so much light... sigh...

 

Oh yes, that was a wonderful demo we got from Gustavo (together with Linda Christianson) at NCECA Providence. I didn't know my colleagues Pres and Tom were in the room too. I was sitting spellbound for 2 hours in the second row and could almost touch the objects Gustavo made. He is a very humble and nice person. I met him at the IAC conference in Dublin, and then again this year in Providence. In Dublin we sat at the same table over lunch and discussed ceramics, what else. A person that not ever put on the airs of a star.

 

(whispering to Tom: the "girl apprentice" was a boy. Long, pinned up hair and female feature, but definitely a young man.... ;) )

 

Chantay: oh, he made tools out of box cutters three and fivefold, to be able to cut parallel lines without messing up the clay. See my QOTW of April 14.... How come you have a surgical blade? :D

 

Evelyne

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Thank you Judith for sharing the video! Well, that's some dream studio of his! So much space, so much light... sigh...

 

Oh yes, that was a wonderful demo we got from Gustavo (together with Linda Christianson) at NCECA Providence. I didn't know my colleagues Pres and Tom were in the room too. I was sitting spellbound for 2 hours in the second row and could almost touch the objects Gustavo made. He is a very humble and nice person. I met him at the IAC conference in Dublin, and then again this year in Providence. In Dublin we sat at the same table over lunch and discussed ceramics, what else. A person that not ever put on the airs of a star.

 

(whispering to Tom: the "girl apprentice" was a boy. Long, pinned up hair and female feature, but definitely a young man.... ;) )

 

Chantay: oh, he made tools out of box cutters three and fivefold, to be able to cut parallel lines without messing up the clay. See my QOTW of April 14.... How come you have a surgical blade? :D

 

Evelyne

Well, now I am embarrassed. Beautiful red hair. I was actually looking at the pots and not the apprentice. Sheesh! :wub:

TJR.

Of course we sat quite a bit further back.

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Pablo Picasso:

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.â€

 

This is possibly apocryphal, but versions of this idea can be found in the writings of many greats.

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Here's a quote from Pablo Picasso;

Art historians discuss art. Artists discuss where to get cheap turpentine.

My take; "Potters discuss where to get cheap glaze buckets."

TJR.

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Someone asked the question if it would be wrong to copy the work of Gustavo Pérez. I would like to respond to that question as someone that often learned and still learn from everybody around me. 

​What I found is that I sometimes see  work that makes me feel my heart goes yearning  right into the fabric of that object. It is meant to be, because every potter or artist makes objects to be wanted and appreciated and when I observe the object closeup, I will always find some or all elements of the work that resonate with my stories, experiences and believes. 

However when I would try to copy the work, it will somehow not work. My touch is different, my story in whichever way it connects with the other person's story, is simply just not the same story. 


 

But then, technique is something different. Few techniques are new in this world. Someone used it somewhere before and it is always exciting to discover "new" techniques. If it fit into my story-line, I like to explore and use it in my work.  

With that being said, I believe we all are copycats at some or other point, because the only way we can learn new ways, is to follow the old ones. Hopefully we do not stay copycats, because that will keep us in the shadow of the original artist.  

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Yes Antoinette. I thought about his use of breaking the surface. I may give it a try for some pieces in obvara. But it will most definitely be different. I saw someone do that in the 70s. I didn't like the hard edge from the razor. Now I can see it has some potential character that I didn't appreciate before.

 

Marcia

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In another strand, there is a discussion of what is a Master Potter. Hmmmm not to discredit Gustavo Perez, especially after reading and posting there, but, I believe Mr. Perez could wear the label well. Yet, would he? I think not, his presentation at NCECA was so humble, when he talked about his journey with clay, one path leading to another, questing and questioning. Yes, he is a Master, who would never assume the title.  Is that truly the mark of a true master in the 21st century, one who is masterful, yet so unassuming they would never wear the mantle of Master?

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Having seen the work of Gustavo Perez at the NCECA workshop and also seeing his video, you realize that he is a Master. To take away something obvious from his work and copying it would not be a way to achieve his technique. He is on a journey like the rest of us. To take a cylinder, make it into an oval and begin slicing it would not give you Gustavo's work.

There are reasons for the slicing. There are reasons for all of his design choices.I would never attempt to duplicate his work. I can appreciate the beauty of his pieces though.

TJR.

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TJR,'I totally agree. I called him a master in my earlier post. His work is truly up there, reflects all his contemplation of form and line, powerful statements of simplicity. I prefer to call someone a master in true appreciation of their accomplishments rather than be told by someone that they are a master.

 

Marcia

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