Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I've let another week pass in epic blog failure. I've made about 100 pots in porcelain which I've been glazing today. Mostly in a simple clear glaze. I've done a couple runs of this stuff before, it's a nice change every once in awhile. I have no camera at the moment so you will have to take my word for it. Perhaps I'll get some photos when I open up the kiln.

Concerning my last post, for those of you that are sitting on the edge of your seats: the ipod was returned. I had to clamp down the vise a little harder and get the department chair involved and eventually it was returned anonymously. Make pots, don't steal.

A few months ago I read the book "Shopclass as Soulcraft" by Matthew Crawford. I give it about a 6.5/10. The first half was very interesting, I did find myself having to re-read some passages and occasionally use the dictionary. The second half was a bit mind-numbing. In simplisic terms the book argues the case for work in the trades(as opposed to the abstract career path via college route) for a wide variety of reasons. The irony being that you would strongly benefit from a college degree in english or philosophy to be able to read this book. A good read all the same, though I would borrow it rather than buy it. I'll leave you with this quote from the book:

"The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world. But the tradesmen must reckon with the infallible judgement of reality, where one's failure and shortcomings cannot be interpreted away. His well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous "self-steeem" that educators would impart to students, as though by magic."


Linda Starr said...

glad you got the pod back

Joseph said...

"self-steem" weel thats not what one of my tutors tried to impart on us when he would come round tell you your work was sh*t and then with that one word having left his mouth he would walk off

Tracey Broome said...

Finally a quote on a blog that doesn't piss me off! Thanks!! I like this one.

collin said...


on the subject of vocation and "craft" I cannot recommend Brian Keeble's book "Art: For Whom and for What?" highly enough. There are a couple of essays in there on Michael Cardew and Eric Gill which are particularly interesting.
It was personally recommended to me by Wendell Berry, the first time I met him.


cookingwithgas said...

our motto should be buy pots- don't steal.
I would be happy to have the person- no questions ask- return the whole box of earrings they took last month out of the gallery.
I had more work in those little things then I would have in a big bowl!
I have moved on....deep breaths and positive thoughts.
I have to say I just make pots with little thought- simple of me but....

Sister Creek Potter said...

I was sitting on the edge of my chair--so glad to be able to get off the perch knowing that all's well that ends well!

Congrats on the Master Blogger award!

jim said...

hi brandon,
i heard that guy interviewed on the radio. it all makes a great deal of sense and is silly to think that humans made things with their hand since the beginning and only now find themselves in a cubicle with nothing concrete to show for their day's work. i think his insistence on writing in a more "high brow" manner and not talking down to the reader was an intentional way of communicating (possibly to detractors) that people who work in trades with their hands are not uneducated... plus i think he has a degree in philosophy. either way, the whole world would be better off if more people made things with their hands.