Jump to content


Photo

Who was the one person who opened the door for you in your art life? How did this person help you? | Q.O.W. 1/24/2103


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,909 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Circumstances, often beyond our planning or control, are clearly important in how our lives develop. Usually there are moments when an encounter with a specific person or the actions of a specific person have a profound impact upon our lives.

Who was the one person who "opened the door" for you in your art life? How did this person help you?


Check out joining the Potters Council (
www.potterscouncil.org ) for more networking possibilities, peer mentoring opportunities, discounts on books, magazines, and DVDs, health insurance, credit card merchant programs, and many other member benefits.
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#2 bciskepottery

bciskepottery

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,419 posts
  • LocationNorthern Virginia

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

My wife. She was working on her life list, make a basket, make a teapot, etc. She signed up for wheel class at the local rec center. Try as she may, she could not make a pot. After two frustrating sessios, she announced I would take pottery and make her teapot. I declined -- my jr. high school clay experience was a disaster -- but she persisted and I finally relented. I was determined a 2 lb. ball of clay would not beat me. That was 6 years ago. Had she not insisted I would not be doing clay -- had no interest until that point. Now, when she complains about clay tracks on the floor, time spent in the studio, etc., I just remind her that is all her fault, not mine.

#3 Diane Puckett

Diane Puckett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • LocationAsheville, NC

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Years ago, my son gave me a piece of pottery for my birthday. A coworker happened to know the owner of the studio/gallery where the pot was purchased, and she insisted on getting me information about pottery classes. Had neither of those things happened, I probably never would have become a potter. Even worse, I might not have moved to Asheville, as the song says, coming home to a place I'd never been before.

There have been so many potters who have so generously shared their knowledge and experience, I could not begin to pick one. I am grateful to all of them.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#4 Nelly

Nelly

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 380 posts

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Years ago, my son gave me a piece of pottery for my birthday. A coworker happened to know the owner of the studio/gallery where the pot was purchased, and she insisted on getting me information about pottery classes. Had neither of those things happened, I probably never would have become a potter. Even worse, I might not have moved to Asheville, as the song says, coming home to a place I'd never been before.

There have been so many potters who have so generously shared their knowledge and experience, I could not begin to pick one. I am grateful to all of them.


Dear All,

I think the person who gave me a push in art was a guy in the local community. I was in high school and at the point where I had to choose a direction in life (i.e., college or take a year off). He knocked on my parents door and said "Nellie, you can't go into ...., you are an artist in your heart. You must pursue art." I remember thinking is this guy serious or is it a come on?? I mean, he had seen some of the stuff I had done in high school but beyond that he knew little of me.

The long and short of this story was that I did go off to college and then university, university and university and worked at art as a sideline hobby all the way along.

While I remembered this incident when this guy knocked on my door, it seems he did not recall this incident at all. My parents remembered it clearly. They wanted me to be able to feed myself after school not starve. His words were not welcomed by my parents.

Three decades later after some questioning of old friends I found this guy in the city where I now lived. By then, he had changed his name. He also ran one of the most exclusive art galleries in this city.

After my first show at the Gladstone in Toronto, I wrote him and thanked him for keeping me involved in some way in art. I reminded him of his words of encouragement when I was a teenager.

For the life of him, he could not remember me in anyway shape or form, but I remembered him. I remember my parents reaction to him telling me to go to art school. They thought he was crazy.

By the time we met again, he had gone from a long haired hippie eating granola yogi to a rich man living in a big home with a fancy life style. For me, his words of encouragement and confidence in my ability at the time were earth shattering. On the other hand, he totally forgot who I was!!! Posted Image

Awww.such is life eh! The moral of this story was that I never forgot. It gave me confidence even to do it as I an now--a happy hobby potter.

Nellie

#5 OffCenter

OffCenter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,372 posts

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

I don't remember her name. It was 1969 and I had just dropped several hits of acid and was on my way to a drawing class when I passed the ceramics studio and saw a beautiful woman throwing a pot, so I went in and sat down in the tractor seat of the Randall wheel next to her to watch her but ended up watching the clay she was throwing. An hour or two later I was still watching her throw until someone asked me to move off the wheel and told me the woman was long gone. I decided to drop the drawing class and take ceramics 101 instead.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#6 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,991 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

Circumstances, often beyond our planning or control, are clearly important in how our lives develop. Usually there are moments when an encounter with a specific person or the actions of a specific person have a profound impact upon our lives.

Who was the one person who "opened the door" for you in your art life? How did this person help you?


Check out joining the Potters Council (
www.potterscouncil.org ) for more networking possibilities, peer mentoring opportunities, discounts on books, magazines, and DVDs, health insurance, credit card merchant programs, and many other member benefits.


I would say Dr. James Cecere. He was the head of the art education department at my second school. He allowed me to transfer in with a 1.9999 repeating average, and a lousy portfolio of flat work. For some reason or other he saw something. Secondly here though he asked what happened to my turn around the year before-get a girlfriend? Is she here? I married her the month after I graduated, so the answer is probably more complicated.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#7 Nelly

Nelly

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 380 posts

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

I don't remember her name. It was 1969 and I had just dropped several hits of acid and was on my way to a drawing class when I passed the ceramics studio and saw a beautiful woman throwing a pot, so I went in and sat down in the tractor seat of the Randall wheel next to her to watch her but ended up watching the clay she was throwing. An hour or two later I was still watching her throw until someone asked me to move off the wheel and told me the woman was long gone. I decided to drop the drawing class and take ceramics 101 instead.

Jim


Dear Jim,

No really, really...is that a true story??? I love it! ;)

Nancy

#8 Lucille Oka

Lucille Oka

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 756 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

When I was younger and long before I got my hands in clay, I was watching a PBS program, I didn’t come in at the beginning of the show I just saw a woman working with clay. I said to myself that 'I want to do that'. She was throwing, and squeezing the clay inward as it spun on the wheel, then she started closing it up; just before she closed it up she dropped three little balls of clay down inside the vessel. I never knew her name until years later. I went on to college making sure that ceramics was part of the curriculum and I took every course I could. I found out later the potter was Toshiko Takaesu.

When I was close to graduating from college I wanted to do my graduate work with her. I found out she was at Princeton so I called Princeton and asked about the graduate ceramics program.The operator said that they didn’t have graduate ceramics but she connected me to the ceramics department. I said to the other person on the phone that I was interested in taking graduate courses with Ms Takaesu, the person said, “This is she.” I did not know that it was Ms Takaesu who answered the phone! I felt as if I was talking to a big celebrity. I was like a gushing fan nervous and excited. I said, “Is this really Ms Takaesu??” I was stunned and scared; she hesitantly and cautiously said, “yes”.

I told her that I wanted to do my graduate work with her. I told her about my seeing her on PBS years ago and how it made me want to work with clay. I told her about the three small balls of clay that she dropped in the vessel that helped me to remember her. We talked about my work so far in clay, my life and situation. Unfortunately at the time she was only teaching undergraduates. She asked me a few questions and said that she didn’t think I needed anymore-undergraduate work. And if I wanted to take more undergraduate courses the commute would be hard on me since I didn’t drive, had a husband, a young child and I would have been coming from another state. It was an impossible situation and it would not have worked. But we talked for a while and she encouraged me to continue working with clay. She and I were both sorry that it couldn’t work out. But I had the chance to talk to her and she knew she had a gushing fan.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#9 OffCenter

OffCenter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,372 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:45 AM


I don't remember her name. It was 1969 and I had just dropped several hits of acid and was on my way to a drawing class when I passed the ceramics studio and saw a beautiful woman throwing a pot, so I went in and sat down in the tractor seat of the Randall wheel next to her to watch her but ended up watching the clay she was throwing. An hour or two later I was still watching her throw until someone asked me to move off the wheel and told me the woman was long gone. I decided to drop the drawing class and take ceramics 101 instead.

Jim


Dear Jim,

No really, really...is that a true story??? I love it! Posted Image

Nancy


Yes, it is a true story. I don't remember her name but I do remember that I lost interest in her when I found out she was in school to get an education and a degree instead of for the sex, drugs, and avoiding the draft.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#10 Nelly

Nelly

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 380 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:52 AM



I don't remember her name. It was 1969 and I had just dropped several hits of acid and was on my way to a drawing class when I passed the ceramics studio and saw a beautiful woman throwing a pot, so I went in and sat down in the tractor seat of the Randall wheel next to her to watch her but ended up watching the clay she was throwing. An hour or two later I was still watching her throw until someone asked me to move off the wheel and told me the woman was long gone. I decided to drop the drawing class and take ceramics 101 instead.

Jim


Dear Jim,

No really, really...is that a true story??? I love it! Posted Image

Nancy


Yes, it is a true story. I don't remember her name but I do remember that I lost interest in her when I found out she was in school to get an education and a degree instead of for the sex, drugs, and avoiding the draft.

Jim


Jim,

That is too funny. It is true for many people. School can be about those things. I tell my students, you don't have drink everything in your first year--pace yourself. You have four years to party.

For me, with the person who identified me as an "artist" it was him calling me this word that made me think about myself in a different light. I could see two sides of myself. He was right. More than anything that is what I wanted to do but I knew I would never likely have the talent to be big enough to make a living. Thus, even this identification of what little talent I had was an incentive to do it part-time.

The odd thing was that after speaking and interacting with him many years later, I found a man consumed very deeply in the money making aspect of art. For him, it was about making money and self-promotion. While still a nice man, he had somehow got caught up in the whirlwind of name dropping and the prestige of having a well respected gallery. Ceramics, of course, were not part of this gallery. Paintings or what is called "fine art" were the only things he sold.

Great story Jim.

Nellie

#11 JLowes

JLowes

    Clay Doodler

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationAtlanta Georgia area

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

My person was the instructor in my altered wheel pottery class. I had taken the class for a couple or three years when our instructor announced he was leaving to go elsewhere with his longtime paramour. Before he left he brought in this sort of shy lady of Korean extraction and introduced her as his replacement. Whereas the original instructor was very talented as a potter, conveying that skill was not his forte. For his replacement it was. She structured the class, as she made, and followed, a syllabus, continuingly challenged us with skill building projects and as her class progressed both my interest and skills grew in leaods and bounds.

The watershed moment came a year or so into her class when she offered to conduct a private critique with anyone in the class that was interested. She asked us to bring in any favorite pieces we made and she would discuss them with us. As there were people in the class that had been wheel potters for as much a sixteen years, and I was only 3 or 4 years in, I was hesitant, but went ahead and brought in several of my best liked pots. When it came to me she had me set the pots out on a table and tell me what I liked about each of them. As I explained them, many of which she had never seen, I was surprised about how interested and engaged she was. After going through them all, she asked what I would like to know. I really had no idea, and hesitated. She asked, "Would you like to know what I think of them?" Again I hesistantly said yes. I was shocked as she took each one and discussed the lines and curves, the thickness of the walls and bases, the glazing and decorative touches, gently probing why I liked certain aspects of each pot, and told me how much I had improved since she had first taken over the class. When she told me how much she anticipated seeing how I would interpret each project from our syllabus she would demonstrate I almost lost it. She told me that the work I produced was exciting and that I showed great promise. I was stunned. I thanked her and quickly began packing up my pots while I could still hold it together.

That was when I realized that the skills to throw, handbuild, or any other discipline within clay, can be learned, but it takes more than just the learned skills to become an exceptional potter. One could be exceptional without all of the skills. My instructor pointed out that which I could not see without the help of another. I am now 9 years into pottery, and show my work at several shows per year, with increasing success, as I learn to narrow my focus and continue acquiring and building skills. She no longer makes pottery, but has moved on to being an Emergency Medical Technician, a student in nursing, and paints for her artistic release. But what a gift she gave to me, confidence.

John

#12 Idaho Potter

Idaho Potter

    Learning all the time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 399 posts
  • LocationBoise, Idaho

Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

My high school art teacher, Joe Torp. A lot of kids take high school art because it's an "easy A". Not with Mr. Torp. He challenged us every class--no one could develop a comfort zone. One of his best teaching regimens was giving each student a stack of newsprint paper and having us move the desks into a circle (there were 18-20 students). He would stand in the middle of the circle and announce a subject--person, fruit, flower, landscape, etc.--and with a red pencil make a mark on your top paper. You had until he completed the circle to complete your drawing--integrating the red pencil mark. Got a little wild in there because when you finished your drawing and initialed it, you just tossed it over your shoulder to display a blank sheet for the red pencil. His attitude was to not get so enamoured with your work that you'd quit learning.

Since then, my children, who gave me wood carving lessons for Christmas one year, that changed my whole outlook on art. I had never worked in 3-D, but immediately knew that working with my hands was what I was born to do. I apprenticed with Clay Johnston for three years until the family moved to Boise. There, I took many classes in sculpture with Al Kober, and finally moved on to ceramics with John Takehara.

I have been fortunate in the teachers that have helped shape me into the artist I am today, and I'm grateful to each of them for sharing their knowledge and expertise. I hope to continue learning from anyone willing to share.

Shirley

#13 Guest_scott312_*

Guest_scott312_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

Who was the one person who "opened the door" for you in your art life? How did this person help you?


Being Left handed, it's lead me everywhere.
I blame the Hound of Heaven and myself.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users