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Evelyne Schoenmann

Qotw: • What Is The Best Advice Anyone Has Ever Given You?

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This weeks question is not only (but mainly) about clay and our insecurity at times.

 

The best advise I myself once got was: Never give up.

 

Similar to what Nelson Mandela once said: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall"

 

Did you get good advice too in your life? Would you share it with us?

 

Evelyne

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well the best art advice was from an art professor of sculpture and jewelry who said to take great time with making a form because thats the shape it will have forever.  i often think of this when forming clay.   rakuku

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1975 Lustre workshop with Larry Camm, I asked "what will happen if I put Lustre on an unglazed surface?" and he said

"Try it and see".

Well, I did, got some interesting results, and applied that advice ever after. There's no substitute for hands-on experience :)

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"You can lie, cheat, and steal to get the pot you want"  and "Step away from that pot"...which is another version of "don't love it to death".

 

I have to disagree with saying that if you don't like it when you make it  it won't get any better.  When I don't like a pot coming out of the kiln because it doesn't meet my expectations(doesn't look like I wanted it to, I can sometimes wait awhile (months), then look at it again.  Once my expectations are gone,  I can see the pot for who it is, not for who I wanted it to be, and sometimes I find I like it after all!

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Best suggestion I received was to stop, step back and get a fresh eye even if it is just for a few minutes.  I believe that has benefited my work more than anything else I just wish I would remember to do it more often.     Denice

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"Don't be afraid to be afraid".  Not sure who said it but words  to push you to new heights.

 

About liking pots later....some pots came out of the kiln not what I expected so I immediately gave them to a friend (she liked them).  A year later or so I was at her house. I saw these lovely pots and asked where she got them.  She said from you.  I loved them...the glaze was quite nice and colorful.  You just never know.

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Someone also told me to stop and step back, but she meant it literally. Stand up and step away from the wheel and to look at the piece the way she was seeing it from a few feet away. It gave me a whole new perspective on the shape and proportions of my work so I occasionally do that when throwing and trimming and it helps to stretch my legs and back.

 

Paul

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"Until you fire it, it's just mud." Probably the most liberating words ever spoken to me by my instructor.

 

As for life in general: "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it." I think that pretty much sums up my approach to tools in the studio. :lol:

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I like that, Amy! I'll remember that.

 

The best advice,for me, is that if you can't let go and have fun and enjoy the whole process, you're going to stay in the safe little box of what you're already good at or naturally good at. Growth takes risk because trying something new involves making mistakes and learning from them.

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Thank you everybody for telling us what best-of advice you got in life. I'am tempted to copy/paste all of the above and make a pdf out of it. We could print it out and hang on the wall in our studios. How about that?! A lot of your posted advice is so encouraging!

 

One that is daily in front of my nose, so that I don't see it anymore, is a postcard from a friend, writing:

 

Life is short - live your dream!

 

I hope the sun is shining too were you live and that you can enjoy it!

 

Evelyne

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"the road to hell is paved with good intentions" -Bill Daley, my mentor

" we all must be crazy to work in clay" -Patti Warashina, Guest Artist at MSU-Billings

"One man's treasure is another man's poison" Nick Vergette, Grad. Professor

 

These were usually mentioned at critiques.

 

 

Marcia

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Back in 1993 Brooks Jacobs, owner of Greenbrook Floral in Jackson MS, was sitting next to me at some floral demonstration and I had just taken over a family florist business (by default I might add) and was gearing up to sell it.  I said "making flower arrangements is boring, I want to hear someone talk about making money."  He said the way to grow and expand was to "spend time working ON your business, not just IN it" and "never do anything you can pay someone $10/hour to do". 

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Friedrich Nietzsche, in the essay "Twilight of the Idols" (1889), wrote: “Out of life’s school of war: what does not kill me makes me stronger.†This advice has been my life preserver over the past 50+ years. A close second, specific to creativity, has been "Never let your story be more interesting than your art."  (Lester Van Winkle ). Can't say I have attained that, but I do take inspiration from it.

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My mentor said(he taught art for 35 years)

Ceramics will never be viewed as high an art form as other arts-but its harder than the other arts.

Still rings true for me today 40 years later

Mark

 

Marcia

(" we all must be crazy to work in clay" -Patti Warashina, Guest Artist at MSU-Billings)

on a light note I had a party at my place during a Patty Warashina vist during my school days in the 70s and my place got trashed. I went to the store and somehow the art dept (ceramics only) moved my cast iron stove and when I retured they where banging on all the pans.I will leave out the other details of that night to protect the innocents.

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