Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Albany Saratoga Pottery Trail

Going up to Troy this weekend for my 2nd visiting potter gig at the beautiful home and studio of Victoria Crowell, potter extraordinaire. 12 potters in 7 studios around the capitol district of New York. Looking forward to it.

Crowell Studio cake plates
cake plates by Vikki Crowell

More info here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Being Creative

gapingvoid lands a book deal...

"Work Hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Be nice. Be polite."
Hugh MacLeod.
I am printing this out in some pretty script and putting it on my wall. Thank you Hugh, and congrats. Hugh's manifesto.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Owning the Means of Production

There is a lot of talk around the web about NOT owning the means of production - in fact, it is a veritable tabu to own the place where things are made. I find this a perplexing idea. I own my studio. As an artist, owning my studio became more and more important as neighborhoods I contributed to the gentrification of became financially unavailable for the creatives who established them in the first (well, maybe 2nd or 3rd) place. Artists tend to live and work in edgy neighborhoods mostly because they are affordable. Then, well, those neighborhoods improve and the artists are forced out. Anyway, I bought my studio 8 years ago. Let's not even talk about real estate values in an insane economy.

Anyway, conceptual art, mid-60/70's made making; painting, actually sculpting etc. unnecessary. Thank you Sol Lewitt! But, life goes on and economics affects us all whether we follow the muse or the crowd. SO, making art is experiencing a resurgence; note the booming DIY movement and craft/art/design are all starting to bump elbows in the dark room of pre-new world discovery. High/low, democratic connectivity, the onslaught of being in touch- Takes my breath away.

I am a potter. I make things. I sell them (hopefully). I use the web to help show pictures of new work, to talk about new campaigns, be it here, or on my website, via email, etc. Not to mention Facebook, Twitter and now FriendFeed. I am trying to keep it simple. There are piles of other options for the tech obsessed.

Owning the means of production involves being on site of the place where stuff is produced. Not outsourcing. This thought may piss off the remote and inexpensive labor in our planet's fast growing economies, but there is a reverse kind of colonialism at hand. If I have my stuff produced cheaply in a developing country and I focus on designing new and novel products, well, I will end up with Phillipe Stark's karma. Ouch! Making stuff and selling it, this works for me. Simple, clean, efficient. Hard. Lots of work. But, I sleep well at night and I try my best.