A Film on Bernard Leach

"This is the only complete film available on the world-renowned artist potter Bernard Leach, one of the most influential craftsmen of the 20th century. The resulting documentary film is a charming presentation of the daily activities at The Leach Pottery.
This locally-made film, now restored and released for the first time on DVD with the cooperation of the late Janet Darnell Leach, and narrated commentary by Warren Mackenzie, provides an especially intimate look at The Leach Pottery."


Now out the 2nd edition with the original narration by Bernard Leach



Tim Rowan at EH&C

Tim Rowan at Erskine Hall and Coe

Tim Rowan's ceramics are greatly paired with Matthew Harris's painting in Erskine Hall and Coe new exhibition.
Rowan works out of native clay and woodfire, the surface is ragged and delicate, uneven and interesting.

The catalogue is viewable on-line

TIM ROWAN (b.1967)
Tim Rowan was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut along the shore of Long Island Sound.  His art education began during college, receiving a BFA from The State University of New York at New Paltz before journeying to Japan for 2 years to apprentice with ceramic artist Ryuichi Kakurezaki. Upon his return he worked briefly in studios in Massachusetts and New York before receiving his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University.
In 2000 he established his kiln and studio deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley.Tim Rowan (b.1967)



That look...Getting Things of my Chest

While this is not one of my usual post it regards something that has bothered my for many years.
The other day I went to see an exhibition in a very established gallery in Madrid, they were hosting new works from mallorcan artist Miguel Barcelo`. I wanted to go for days but couldn't find the time, so eventually I had to squeeze it in between attending my son basketball match and Saturday house duties.
As soon as I entered the gallery´s space I notice the assistant's look, you know "that Look", it was not the first time but it always surprise me. Maybe because I have the bad custom of being accompanied by children (we are talking 9 and 12, shouldn´t they start to appreciate art ??) or because I dress extremely casually ( don´t we all ???) but it happens, and it is very sad.
The "Look" is a behaviour, stupid and impolite, that should inspire you to leave the space ASAP while the gallery´s assistant attend that old lady in the fur coat ...Porfavor

Sorry to burst the bubble but these days you really shouldn´t concentrated on the furry-coated ladies, have you notice that the world´s richest men wear trainers ( this is not the case, but don't know that )  ???
And if art is only business than let us pay a ticket at the entrance and let us enjoy the works in peace.
I, as you might have guessed by now, hate hate hate this attitude, it pays a terrible service to art and it should be simply dropped.

I am aware that it doesn't happen only in gallery, a couple of months ago I had a really nasty encounter in a fancy house decoration shop. They had various nice looking ceramic pieces and I made the mistake to get to close to a sturdy stoneware pot....ohh I didn't realise I was committing a sin. The assistant run to me screaming that it was extremely fragile and that I shouldn't dare touching it...WHAT ??? Am I supposed to buy a ceramic piece without even touching it ??? Don't you know (can I add stupid cow at this point ??) that touch is so deeply connected with ceramics that you can't have one without the other ??

Well to cut the story short in both cases I left promptly deeply offended by their assumption of my lack of knowledge. But here is the message to gallery's owners out there: train your assistant, people come in a gallery or a shop to enjoy and if they don't...well they won't buy. So either if you are in the business for passion or for money...it is time to wake up !

thanks for letting me get this thing of my chest and sorry Miguel I would have loved to experience your work more deeply, maybe next time I'll come to Mali ;)


Giorgio di Palma's CV6

skate pattini

CV: Five words that describe your work
GP: Four is enough...Useless but essentials, ironical but melancholic

CV: What aspect of your personality is more useful in your practice?
GP: The complete absence of references. I haven't studied art and I am free of academic knowledges and techniques. If I then add being inattentive and calm, this is an indispensable mixture for my creations.

CV: What is your favourite ceramic piece of all times ?
GP: I have a very diversified production ( objects, decals, low reliefs ) and it's difficult to choose a favourite. From the objects series I love the skateboard and from the reliefs "you have s.t. in your nose"

CV: Where do you get your inspiration from?
GP: From the everyday life and from my dog Lucky that has just open a studio on a very shining star

CV: If you could choose where to live/work in the world, where would you go?
GP: While many leave to follow their dreams I did the opposite. After years of travelling and with my suitcases full of dreams I came back home, to Grottaglie, a little town in Puglia. My bet was to survive here, working with ceramics, like my father did for decades and many "grottagliesi" (i.e. people from Grottaglie) did for centuries. I am succeeding: I work in Grottaglie, with ceramics, doing my own thing. It's fantastic

CV: Your best and worst ceramic moment
GP: Every time I open the kiln is a unique moment. Inside there is the result of days, weeks of working and waiting. In a square meter anything can happen. There I live my best and worst moments, not when I am confronted with the public, in competitions, or galleries.

hai qualcosa nel naso
CV: Cinque parole che descrivano le tue opere.
GP: Ne bastano 4: Inutili ma indispensabili, ironiche ma melanconiche.

CV: Che aspetto della personalità ti è più utile nel lavoro?
GP: L’assoluta mancanza di punti di riferimento. Non avendo studiato arte sono privo di accademismi e tecnica. Se a questo ci aggiungo l’essere distratto e calmo, ne esce un mix indispensabile per la mia produzione.

CV: Qual'e il tuo pezzo in ceramica preferito?
GP: Ho una produzione troppo diversificata (oggetti, decalcomanie, bassorilievi) per decretare il mio favorito. Degli oggetti adoro lo skate mentre dei bassorilievi amo “Hai qualcosa nel naso”.

CV: Da cosa trai ispirazione?
GP: Dalla quotidianità e dal mio cane Lucky, che ha aperto da poco uno studio su una luminosissima stella.

CV: Se potessi scegliere dove vivere/lavorare nel mondo, dove andresti?
GP: Mentre molti partono per inseguire i propri sogni io ho fatto il contrario. Dopo anni in viaggio e con le valigie pieni di sogni sono tornato a casa, a Grottaglie, piccolo paese della Puglia. La mia scommessa era sopravvivere qui, lavorando con la ceramica, come ha fatto mio padre per decenni e come fanno tantissimi grottagliesi da secoli. Ci sto riuscendo: lavoro a Grottaglie, con la ceramica, a modo mio. E’ fantastico.

CV: Il tuo migliore e peggiore momento ceramico
 GP: Ogni volta che si apre il forno è un momento unico. All’interno c’è il risultato di giorni, settimane di lavoro e attesa. All’interno di un metro quadrato può succedere di tutto. E’ lì che vivo i momenti migliori e peggiori, non durante il confronto con il pubblico, nei concorsi, nelle gallerie.



Archie Bray Foundation courses

 "A place to make available for all who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts, a fine place to work."

The Archie Bray Foundation is an amazing place, it offers an incredible experience while you can completely immerse in the world of ceramics.
The host great exhibitions, offer residencies and have a series of the best courses available.
Here is a simple of what will be going on in the next months.
If you have the chance...don't miss it

Matt Kelleher and Shoko Teruyama workshop
An Invitation to Slow Down
Instructors: Matt Kelleher & Shoko Teruyama June 10–14
Chris Staley and Nancy Blum workshop
Opposites Attract
Instructors: Chris Staley & Nancy Blum July 8–19

Tony Marsh workshop
A Ceramic Record: Models, Molds, Casting
Instructor: Tony Marsh August 16–18

Wanxin Zhang workshop
Figurative Sculpture with Slab Construction
Instructor: Wanxin Zhang September 20–22
Tara Wilson workshop
Flames: Wood Firing
Instructor: Tara Wilson October 7–11


Miguel Barcelo`en Madrid

26/01/2013 - 27/03/2013
MANIFESTO DE BARRO. Miquel Barceló. Otoño 2012

translated from Galeria Elvira Gonzales's site.

While waiting to  see the Barcelo' exhibition I wanted to share his words. Remember these are the words of an artist (not just bad translation !!)

"I once wrote that I started working with clay because in Gogoly-Sangha (Mali) the wind wouldn't let me paint. Surely it was like that, but more surely is that with this clay I didn't do anything but keep on painting.
Like with my paintings I started with an old potter in Banani, who taught me where to get the best clay and how to prepare it. After mixing it with camel and donkey dung and bits of broken pots jars, you wedge this body (smelly mass) and let it ferment and work it again, you achieve a certain plasticity-nothing compared to what you can buy, that is soft and flexible like plasticine-so you can start modeling.
The first piece in dogon clay was a skull onto I wanted to apply two big ears.
Given the appalling ugliness of the result, I replaced the ears for a long pointed nose, a bit like my nosebut longer  ... I realized it was Pinocchio when, between the drying and firing (rudimentary) the head size was reduced by fifteen percent.
That was the evidence -and that is usually the case in all my works, whatever the material-that the long nose is the lies persist death. That told me a woman and I remember I do not usually seek explanations beyond the title, that could otherwise perfectly have been  amb Cap de nin llarg nas (boy head with long nose)
When I was working on the ceramic skin that cover a chapel of Palma's catedral it became clear that this material was just another of my pictoric materials, even in the way I create the work, with punches and slabs-also with brushes, drippings and drops- 4 to 10 square meters, like Tiepolo like Giotto, like the painter in Altamira or the Pileta cave, meter by meter, day by day. The only authenthic measure is our own life. One comes to realise this. So, terracotta, this that we call ceramic, like the generic of painting, like acetilsalicílic acid is for Aspirin.
I always think of Chauvet's owl, traced with the index finger on the surface of the soft mud that covered then the walls of the cave. 25 seconds, maybe 27that it was it took the Master of the stunted little finger (that was his name) to draw the powerful curve of the head, slightly sunken in the wings closed with energic vertical lines. The two upstanding ears and the two points that look at us from the future. This great masterpiece is made of clay, mud, slime Terracotta, dry soil: like Masaccio like everything."