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docweathers

Making Marks... By Robin Hopper

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docweathers    79

I'm looking at getting Making Marks... by Robin Hopper in either DVD or book.  How helpful is it? How does the coverage between these two versions compare?

 

Larry

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oldlady    1,323

your local library can get the book for you if it is not on their shelves.  robin lives relatively close to you, just north of vancouver, canada i think.   visiting him (if you can) would be very educational.

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bciskepottery    925

I very much enjoy Making Marks, as well as the other Hopper books (I have all three of the trilogy: Ceramic Spectrum, Making Marks, Functional Pottery).  The book has loads of color photos that demonstrate various techniques, plus a lot of information in the text.  The book tends to read as if he were talking to you; but, he imparts a lot of information at a time, adding historical and contextual information freely.  There are plenty of "how to" photo essays, recipes for slips, etc.  Some of us are visual learners; some of us do well learning from text.  I've seen only a couple of short clips from Robin, but they seem to be true to the content of his books.  Probably best to use both, but I don't think you'll go wrong with either if you only choose one medium or the other.  You know how you learn best, choose the medium that fits your learning style.

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oldlady    1,323

doc, do you know that even now you can correct robin hopper's name on your post by hitting "edit" at the bottom?

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docweathers    79

I fixed the spelling mistake. Without a spellchecker, I could not even spell my own name right :(.

 

Given all the positive comments about Hoppers books, I think I will get all three.

 

 Thanks for the feedback.

 

Larry

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Larry, I have all three books too and also the Making Marks DVD and I can greatly recommend them. I'am a great Hopper fan and if I would live as near to Vancouver as you, I would go visit him. Such a spiritual and great potter. You can order the books via Ceramic Arts Daily bookstore!

Evelyne

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oldlady    1,323

doc, those of us who have had the opportunity to meet robin know what he is talking about.  the point ROBIN is making in the first part is that he fell in love with clay at the age of three and in spite of trying lots of other things to do, he is still working with his first love, clay

 

your calling that history "job instability"  is like my daughter in law referring to my collection of many different plates and mugs made by many different potters "mismatched dishes".  an insult to the beauty of what is there.  (she is unteachable and untouchable)

 

if you read the things YOU have been posting here for some time it appears that you have no particular focus.  asking about so many and so varied processes makes you sound as though you are still searching for what robin has found.  we are all still searching, have a little compassion.  get the books AND DO NOT FEEL INSULTED!!!!!!!!!!!

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oldlady    1,323

being insulted is a decision.  if you choose to be insulted, you are.  i am only trying to educate, not insult.  no, i do not have any credentials to educate.  entering this forum is like entering a classroom.  most students are not insulted when their instructor introduces a new idea.  at least i am not assigning homework except get the books, which is what you wanted to do anyway.

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bciskepottery    925

Doc,

 

My reason for suggesting starting at the beginning was based on the direction of Robin's most recent posts, which have focused upon his garden, brushes, and other topics, while the early posts talked about how he came to pottery, etc.  Robin started the blog, in part, to help him through a rather debilitating physical condition that left him unable to make pottery.  He has since had a successful diagnosis of a multi-year problem, but no longer makes pottery -- he only works on ceramic substrates as a canvass.  I thought if you just looked at the recent posts you would not get a sense of his approach to pottery and how he views life and brings that to his ceramic work.

 

Yes, Robin went through a number of professions . . . mostly in the artistic, creativity fields before settling on pottery.  Not unusual for an artist, in my opinion; a journey trying to find the best vehicle for expressing your ideas. 

 

Bruce

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docweathers    79

Bruce

The last section of this topic was driven by my curiosity about his being a "spiritual potter."  That just seemed like a very odd descriptor. I was curious why it was attributed to him.

 

I don't think "job instability" is an inaccurate or negative descriptor from how he portrays himself in the first paragraph. I have done a more diverse range of things than he has. I don't consider that to be a negative personal trait.

 

The diversity of interest you see on the ceramicsartsdaily forum is only the tip of the iceberg. I do at least as much large-scale welded yard art.

 

I'm sympathetic with his physical challenges partially because I've been faced with some very difficult physical problems myself. Age does that to all of us.

 

Larry

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bciskepottery    925

I only know Robin via his books, his blog, and some video clips.  But you get a sense that in his pottery, he found a way to express his inner energy and expression; that through his pottery he finds that balance in his life.  Perhaps that is his spirituality.  After may pursuits, he found the one that seems to have resonated best.  When you have a Robin Hopper piece, you get the sense you have part of him and his inner energy.  Same for many other potters, but not for all.  I guess its a journey. 

 

You might have seen the attached clip of Robin throwing a parabolic vase . . . what is most fascinating to me, and which makes the vase so much more interesting and personal, is the story he tells of what inspired the form.  http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-making-techniques/wheel-throwing-techniques/wheel-throwing-video-making-a-multi-part-altered-vase-on-the-pottery-wheel-2/  That ability, to me, is what I find remarkable about Robin.  And it has given me a whole new appreciation when looking at this work.  Had a similar experience during a workshop with Sequoia Miller.  During his slide presentation, we saw images of the views from his studio window, from hotel windows . . . and then saw those same images side-by-side with some of his work and how those views were brought into his pottery, either as forms or in brushwork and decoration.  Probably the same for Euan Craig; he seems to put part of himself in his work in that same way http://euancraig.blogspot.com/

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Min    777

I took a Robin Hopper weekend workshop and lecture many years ago when I had only a few years pottery experience. At the time much of what he said went sailing straight over my head. What I did come away with was his adage of “Try it and seeâ€. As more time and many tons of clay and hundreds of test tiles later “try it and see†still rings clearly and loudly in my head.

 

I saw some of his earlier film productions, I don't think they were on DVD back then, how he appears on film is exactly how he is in life.His books contain a wealth of ideas to try it and see.

 

Min

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oldlady    1,323

at the workshop i attended he kept repeating, "stop asking questions, watch and learn, all the answers are in the books".  i wish the people next to me had heard that but they kept asking each other what he just said.  i finally had to move across the room.  i paid my $250 to hear robin, not these people.

 

the workshop followed the books almost word for word so a careful reading of the books is worth it.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

your local library can get the book for you if it is not on their shelves.  robin lives relatively close to you, just north of vancouver, canada i think.   visiting him (if you can) would be very educational.

Call first. He missed NCECA this year due to illness.

Marcia

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TheSmartCat    1

Making Marks is one of my go to books for new techniques.  Right now I am starting to explore Mocha Infusions and Ceramic Ink.  I work in low fire and find that his information applicable for any firing range.  I've enjoyed his blog and his reader friendly attitude from his first posting.  This is the autobiography of an artist who has not hesitated to use all that comes his way to become part of his creativity.

 

Another excellent book for decorating and using color on clay is Image Transfer on Clay by Paul Andrew Wandless. 

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docweathers    79

Robin Hopper's trilogy is now on my to by list along with Image Transfer on Clay by Paul Andrew Wandless.

 

The story behind things always makes them more interesting. Michael Pollan in his discussions about  whole foods calls them " story foods". Many companies have learned to manipulate this was very false, misleading down-home stories about their products. Just a thought. I'm not implying this about Hopper.

 

Larry

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Pam S    6

I'll start by saying that Robin Hopper's books and videos are a great source of reference and sometimes inspiration. I'd have to agree with Evelyne on the "spiritual" comment. To me, it rolls off of the man. His joy in what he does, his talent and willingness to share. Back to my crate now.

 

P

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Claypple    29

Again! Spiritual?! What are you talking about? Didn't find any "Spirituality" in his blog.  (Not that it matters)

Good books, great artist, good potter, a complicated person. Sorry he is ill now. Sorry he was interrupted at the work shop. 

 

Definitely  a language barrier for me with this word. In fact the other day one of my patients asked me how is my father doing. (He is really old, 91, but is doing great, independent, does not even need medications). After hearing the old man is doing fine, the patient said: "Is he SPIRITUAL? Maybe that is his secret?"

 

No, he is not spiritual at all (whatever this word means). He just has a right life style, walks 4 miles every day and does not have a sweet tooth. 

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OffCenter    82

Again! Spiritual?! What are you talking about? Didn't find any "Spirituality" in his blog.  (Not that it matters)

Good books, great artist, good potter, a complicated person. Sorry he is ill now. Sorry he was interrupted at the work shop. 

 

Definitely  a language barrier for me with this word. In fact the other day one of my patients asked me how is my father doing. (He is really old, 91, but is doing great, independent, does not even need medications). After hearing the old man is doing fine, the patient said: "Is he SPIRITUAL? Maybe that is his secret?"

 

No, he is not spiritual at all (whatever this word means). He just has a right life style, walks 4 miles every day and does not have a sweet tooth. 

 

I agree with you except the part where you call him a "great artist".

 

Jim

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