Thursday, 27 November 2014
"Were you a Punk?"
It originated a few days earlier at pizza dinner. Pietro extended an invitation to the famous Pizzeria Maroni, so of course, I spiffy up by wearing my assorted rings. One of our little group was well-respected, much-admired (and incredibly humble) English potter, John Colbeck, who has also spent the last few weeks at La Meridiana. [How ever did I happen upon this good fortune?!?] John (first-name basis, no less...) noticed the rings and asked "Were you a Punk?" Crikey! I haven't been asked that since my faux-punk days of the, ahem, '80s New Wave. "Well, kind of", I replied. The question was positively answered a few days later when Pietro and John were conducting Raku firings for the other potter in residence. Ah, I love the smell of Raku in the morning, as my good studio mate, Mary Hastings, would say. So notes John: "Stick with porcelain." Me: "Oh, but I really like Raku." John: "Really?! That's the Punk in you." Yes! That's what is so brilliant about the possibilities of clay: so many different types of clays, forms, glazes, firings, purposes, aesthetics, let alone the assorted history of it all... It's as if pottery can offer nine lives, or at least two, much like Meenoo here, one of the gatti di casa: not quite lurking behind the leaves yet completely basking in the sunshine. Working with clay can allow for that duality of being and purpose: one can feel equally at home whether in the methodical control of functional porcelain or in the chaotic freedom of non-functional Raku. And that's my clay-punk story.