Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Flower Guys

This is work finished over the course of summer 2015, more or less in reverse order from which it was made.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


All the ceramic here and for that matter the writing elsewhere is meant in a primitive, naive, unfinished sense seen in these stressed and distressed pieces.

As in Kierkegaard's idea of the primitive in Johan Taels Immediacy and Reflection in Kierkegaard's Thought, 57F:

The modern age is fundamentally dishonest. Modern man through his own fault is caught in a bewilderment of self deception in and about himself due to a lack of naivete, in an age that can no longer be naive, an essential condition for a healthy and honest human existence. This points to an even deeper lack, a want of the primitive. Primitive existence always contains a reexamination of the universally human. The primitive thinker reflects on what everyone knows, or should know. What these things are must be shown not told to that self consciousness that is so self assured. If it recognizes it recognizes itself. The concept of human being is normative; The ethical task of each singular human being consists in transforming the psychic qualification of his existence in a pneumatic one; The bedrock normative practice that determines the human being as "pneumatic" is the existential speech-act.

Writing is pneumatic in itself if it breathes with these primitive universal dramas. Primitive ceramic feeds upon thought and forethought when stone hits glass and the breakage conforms to gravity and glass, not the intention of the artist; if not, the result is mere thought. Stressing these materials away from the smooth and the fine, all the lobate scarps of planetary implosion or cliffs, displacement thrust faults, compressional stresses, thermal contraction, lineated terrains are means of dramatizing the primitive. To what end? To display the universal human, not the fantasy, the pain in the global aspects of Mercury that lead to a loss of surface that secreting, planting of contradiction into the clay body makes. Slumping, cutting earthquakes seek the volcano in the kiln. The pollution in saying so calls fire out of the medieval Cloud of Unknowing with spirit. Fathom that after the volcano, like the shell of a man shrunk, heart sack creased like a pot expelled from itself, when you don't have naught to say. Thought burns up. Intellect ceases tasks. You stand struck, parietal lobes rewired. That is primitive.

So let us say that "the creation of a perfect illusion depends not only upon a vertiginous degree of technical ability, but ultimately upon the intuitive channeling of a breathless state in which the painter himself no longer knows whether his eye still sees or his hand still moves." W. G. Sebald, A Place in the Country. On the Paintings of Jan Peter Tripp, 175.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tree of Knowledge

Grotesque of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Myriad cracks of the stretched clay produced dark where the glaze broke, not veins of leaves. The entwined figure likewise turned dark, glaze separating into scales which looked more like the figure was strangling the tree.

Tree of Knowledge, Tree of Folly. Folly can be entertaining, look at the Ziegfeld Follies. That is the universe and the uncon together, Follies of immensity. Shiploads of folly. Awards of folly. Publications of folly. I want to try to give some account of some sculptures in the round, arrayed to tell this story. The piece called the Tree of Knowledge starts off with consciousness, of telling of a serpent entwined about a tree which is the vessel itself, fluted with variations. The subject of the tree, proven corrupt thus with all knowledge, a tree with this serpent was disgusting to me, that is until I began to seriously examine Brueghel's Fall of the Rebel Angels, which I liked for its blue sky and what I consider full moon rising. Below occur all manner of horrors, hybrids, beasts, and artificilia, every manner of distress and combat, the angels above. Somehow this justified what occurs on the Tree of knowledge, although it is a single panel in this long epic of Eden.

To admit to vacancy this was not intended, but there was the purpose to place human figures in the round as in many other examples, Rapture In Progress for one. To do so runs counter to the fineness of the Chinese and Japanese masters who achieve such heights of understatement. This appalling figure reinforced in the glazing and such as it was the pieces came together to illustrate a snake curled  around the tree. The snake camouflages itself against the bark. Its body completely encircles the tree, an ouroboros item done in heavy applications of carbon trap shino, so the snake scales are highlighted against the very dark clay of its body. Edges of the body are applied in orange shino waxed, to an orange border so the snake seems to have a flame aspect to it. The fluting of the tree occurs in a green lily pad glaze, with also breaks, but a different pattern than the shino, alternated with light celadon over porcelain. The snake as it were has two arms one rising the other falling as it circles the center of the tree, ugly and fearful, its head arched down in a viperous triangle, tongue flickering, poisoning the whole tree of education. All the stars are named for its gods as it calls itself in the classics, meaning the compendium of counterfeit accounts of the universe and the human, all the archetypes and dreams of the archetype fabrics of its making, that Jung's Red Book is itself, with all divination and wisdom the leaf of its fall. That is to say that the heavens are named for the serpent and the unconscious is named for the serpent. So it is really a tree of bondage, all knowledge is bondage. To what. Well ask. To the status quo of mortality, time, rebellion. Oh dear. The days of the week, the months of the year, the constellations of the heaven are all dedicated to it.

This style has its hazards. It wanted to shape fluting with stretched porcelain, a figure stretching around the vase from some notion that it would pick up the pot and walk off, the green contrast against orange shino representing the tree's leaves so to speak. But myriad cracks of the stretched clay produced dark where the glaze broke, not veins of leaves. The entwined figure likewise turned dark, glaze separating into scales which looked more like the figure was strangling the tree. It takes some time to be able to see what is actually there as opposed to what one thought should be there. What this says about the value of education is left to the viewer. What it says of iconography in the corrosion of the dark clay of the figure, borders of red around the "leaves," orange, = maroon cracking, speckling, spalling,  allegorize the knowledge that can cut the fins off every shark to enhance health. Evil is always explained, analyzed, rationalized with pains taken at  Scribd sites, HistoPossum, Opiomes, Building Transhuman Immortals, and etc. We seem to want epic what is banal. The white shino interior of this vase belies the ill prognosis where it has collected on the inward curves of the slopes like snow.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bus Stop, Flower from Rock, Volcano I and II @ AZ Clay WHAM and Shemer

Flower from Rock
Two openings this week; I have Bus Stop, AZ Clay at WHAM galleries and Flower from Rock, Force of Nature at Shemer. Pat has two carbonized fire pots, balls fired molten, I and II, at WHAM, the volcano spewing its ash down the side of the mount, some lava dried in black massy streaks, other still alive, steaming.  Different characters in various states of relaxation lounge in Bus Stop. Whatever it would look like as a canvas, the slouching and curves are magnified in the round. One pic doesn't get it. What I see for the most part is that art rules each medium with its own well founded rules not set out to be broken, but to push the clay to where it would break, as here one section of the lamination arches out from the form, bowed in the firing, so daylight appears between its cracks, holes, caverns and splits, even before the firing, the piece stretched to its limit attracted this process, which is the same with words, if less obvious, as above, where streams was the word intended, but steams got written and kept. I also exhibited four pieces at the Herberger - Crumpled, Dented and Crushed, that ended 15 March. Click to big.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Water Jars

Theodore's Water Jar
Macedonian Water Jar
Water Jar Mural

Sunday, November 30, 2014


The eye tries to understand what it sees when folds and curves make shadow. It constantly plays over it to create familiarity. It is as if he eye recasts the image, which seems to be moving, to understand it. This establishes the statement, it depends on your point of view. Such composition has a range of meaning and association, from more simple but improbable Flowers from Rock to curvilinear figures not quite named, like a woman a flower or abstract deconstructions of a vessel. The eye tries to make these look like something it recognizes. " body does the math and physics, so I try not to think. I just wait for the picture of the finished piece to flash across my mind as I work...the final form comes from the process." Lesley-Ann Hoets. Ceramics Feb 2015.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crumpled, Dented, Crushed

After an upcoming Herberger exhibit, four of these appearing out of a number. Unless it is too philosophical to be of interest these stressed and broken attempts to fall and stand at the same time see pots as people and to which do we like most, the cheerful ones who go against all odds and heroically oppose, or those who bow the head, the knee, and excite sympathy? Indeed many did fall, imploded, collapsed in the stretching intended to enhance their lines. Why were they pushed to such extremes? Some can't raise their hands because they don't have arms. These are many. Or sometimes they just have stumps for arms in these days. Of those who raise hands not all get them all the way up either, from the weight or maybe they are prevented. There are all kinds of postures in hands raised, just like there are all kinds of reasons for raising them. Surrender is always implied, and praise. Also sacrifice. Those without hands are the most poignant if we imagine them. We can see the heads and the bodies, as if the arms and hands were wrapped inside a serape maybe. Hands raised, heads raised, bodies raised. If we are armed militarized security forces it gets ambiguous, as they are concealing something under their cloaks. Beating hearts. Some of these may be considered Protest Jars, others Quechua ladies silently witnessing.

Friday, February 21, 2014



Who are these pained creatures?

Which do you prefer, 20th century prewar Germany or 21st century prewar America? Sir Stephen says, Watch the hawk with  an indifferent eye, that almost won War on the sun until the hands, wings, are found (Poems, 1933, 11). 

 In this best of all possible worlds the Trojan Horse is outside the gate, Leviathan comes to land. We find the eyes of the hawk, hands, and the tongue.
 The Globe is the world! Absolutely guarded in our superiority of being, "three stand naked: the new, bronzed German, / the communist clerk, and myself, being English" (Poems, XIV in 1929). This splendid coracle says, "All for one and one for all." HBO in  simple haunting speech: "I’m haunted by these images, /  I’m haunted by their emptiness," Spender says (Poems, XVI). Who in Weimar America lives in the shadow of war? None, just like Weimar! QED!  Spender goes a decade before, but sees "The prisoners / Turned massive with their vaults and dark with dark" (Poems, XX).

The oracle "throws up strange shapes, broad curves / And parallels clean like the steel of guns" (Poems, XXVI). Everybody feels empowered by the need to remember maps, addresses, time any more. Electronic designs are "More beautiful and soft than any moth / With burring furred antennae feeling its huge path" (Poems, XXVII). So it’s not just England naked and the world where "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes" as Saint Stephen would have said. He could have written a book like Psalms, "I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint…I may count all my bones." (Psalm 22.14). But the Weimar does not believe the porcelain words of "Slanting iron hair pattern no stigmata" (Poems, XXXI). "That program of the antique Satan / Bristling with guns on the indented page" (Poems, XXXIII). The machine of war in the war of three worlds, apocalypse of heaven, earth and hell. Choose at least one. That’s what you get when their knees are tight on your arms and they hold you down, for while Chomsky thinks its Hitler from the right, the forces keep marching, left, right, left, right. Except they have phones. It's not Hitler coming, or Weimar just back from the Danube with Marlene Dietrich singing, hyperinflation or Balkanization. It's four angels loosed from the Euphrates.

England is America without the water to cross. England echoes America and America China, India, Ukraine, Egypt, Japan. Fast forward: the Colorado late at night, edge of a lunar eclipse, Halloween with fires, rooftop calls on civilization to surrender to what it does not believe, bizarre Earth burrowers, mole prophets.  Time brings Weimar out of the smoke of its own recurrence, Weimar becomes America, then the Nazi, the wheel within the wheel of the recurrence of the days of Noah. Who can  understand analogies that seventy five postwar German years make American peace?  like Americans, "unhappy, pained, gentle creatures who represent the heart of another Germany, and do not understand what is happening to them… peculiar whiteness and stillness of their eyes which seem to have been drained of pigment…How closely I press upon a secret! Why am I always attracted by these desolate spirits?" (Stephen Spender, Journals, 1939-1983, 30).

Electrosmog smoke, out of order, out of time, a poem moved by dilemmas for its own sake, it's no easy kinship with the desolate sweep. I get out Spender’s Poems of 1933 as an oracle, inscribed "For Horst Keller as a  souvenir  of Oxford London Berlin from Stephen Spender / March 11, 1933." Spender later reveals in his Journal "I met [Horst] on the Hook of Holland boat once, shortly before Hitler’s rise to power,twelve days after the Reichstag fire (27 Feb 1933). Hitler's "rise" ended in March 1933 after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after elections and intrigues. Then Hitler used The Enabling Act to constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.  Spender says, "Horst was the son of a general. And now at least four names crowd on to me I remember. Many are aristocrats and often close to the higher ranks of the army. This boy was called Horst. He had a round face with very well-formed features, delicate lips, light blue eye, and brown hair of an almost feathery lightness. He was very quiet and polite and he had some small, out-of-the-way interest – playing the flute or making musical instruments or something. There’s really nothing much more to it than that. He had a scholarship at Oxford and I used to call on him there; we went for walks and I introduced him to Isaiah Berlin. But he never in the least became part of the life at of those unhappy, pained, gentle creatures who represent the heart of another Germany, and do not understand what is happening to them. I have touched a deeper chord than I knew here, for Have I not met two or three? Didn't I know very well the peculiar whiteness and stillness of their eyes which seem to have been drained of pigment? These poor ghosts are really beautiful in a sexless way, because, if one is a young man of another country, an exile in one's own, one cannot expect to be virile. How closely I press upon a secret! Way am I always attracted by these desolate spirits? There was one I met on the Hook of Holland boat once...(Journal. 1985, 30).

 Keller is dismissed as "always just as gentle, just as isolated [with] a restlessness that never ceased..." but the poor ghosts, as he puts it, for the oracle stand for American hearts,  "peculiar whiteness, drained of pigment:"  "Most of these poets and writers...delivered their sad advice on the literary life which I was now just about to enter, like ghosts in purgatory, conscious of the relative failure of their illusions" (World On Worlds, 89). As if appointing a board of directors Auden had assigned Spender to be the poet at Oxford as Isherwood got to be the novelist, but they were grasping at illusion not compulsion. Escape from the Weimar sensorium fell to Dylan Thomas, who was drunk all the time, or Faulkner, or Edith Sitwell in some depth psychology of esoteric Jung. The lords of lit dismiss its past and its victims as Americans dismiss the present, as Spender does "the sustained gentle sense of unhappiness" (31).

So much signifying Horst Keller naked. On one hand dismissed for lack of philosophic depth, like all poets and critics scourge one another, and on the other hand the counterpart of the bullying Spender himself received, "My parents kept me from children who were rough…their knees tight on my arms. / I feared the salt coarse pointing of those boys" (Poems XII). So Pound dared to call Yeats The Tower putrid as Hemingway called Spender squeamish, and why not, for he was as cloistered. Spender and Keller prophesy  how we live in our Weimar before the fall, "coracles with faces painted on" (Spender, Poems, III). Even if the Reich-stag burns in the Twin Towers morphed to a propaganda tool, these are just mirages of the digital, like a new species of  digitalis that poisoned Van Gogh's brain when he was given it for seizures. His brain saw a color shift which produced the yellow period, haloes around lights Xanthopsia fools like propaganda. Our seizures, after creation of the group mind, when the news is offered by Yahoo headlines, have no word for who will destroy the world. This is Weimar's Childhood’s End, catalyzed by the beast that comes from its ship in 50 years! 

Poems. Stephen Spender (Faber, 1933).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Eleusis & Praise Him @ Herberger Theater Art Gallery 10 Jan - 3 Mar 2014

15 x 14 x 10  High Fire Ceramic $900 
These address the unconscious claimed to be seen in the Eleusinian basket when you lifted the cloth covering the kiste. This was the revelation of the world, the sacred chest, the kalathos.  The interior here lights blue green from within as the cloth is lifted. Indentations on the outside by impression of dried nopal pads suggest pleating or weaving, dessicated prickly pear spines applied with cholla skeleton. There is of course a theory that a mirror was placed inside and you took a drug, saw yourself clouded like Batman in Batman I who lifts the cloth and sees a bat, which must seen ghastly when conformed to all those underground chambers of the revelation of the world where the rites took place, the unconscious receptacle of sin dressed up as idolatries in myth covered by a towel. Idolatry is beautiful in the eyes of sin, blue as Ishtar's gown where they pretend they are good to be good. That towel cover is the plastic surgery over our eyes that even when we receive pain and suffering and bless sin. Who shall deliver me from the bondage of this death? The unconscious Lilith pretends to be beautiful as Paula White, whole and healthy, wearing a million seductive faces, Isis, Ishtar and Lilith, a prostitute of Ishtar. We haven’t overcome our sins, they overcome us. Every time somebody thinks they defeat sin it morphs again. Lust becomes pride. Lying becomes self deception. That is the revelation of the world. 
Praise Him, Praise Him All You Little Children 
Revelation is what sins want to defeat. Gurus of the unconscious say everywhere revelation is myth. That is their means of fooling. The revelation of the world is called wisdom, the way of yourself or the god plant, based on the cover. Here you look within and see what do the patrons of the theater at intermission do in this two month run. Should they fall to the ground weeping as their pass, discover truth vessels, as we have been told, it is not their fault. Blue interiors are much desired. These might not be gone, but so cheap at the price. If only their betters would tell them hat to do. Brown and green remnants kneaded into porcelain with blue green mason stains, composite light/dark clays impastoed with chrome oxide, titanium, cobalt, rutile, some burnt umber, Death Valley red added to strengthen the lip at the end before formation.  Glaze with blue green mat + lily pad + drift of clear inside, blue green mat + green poison patina + clear outside.

Praise Him, Praise Him All You Little Children  manifests the unconscious only ever known by looking back. The insight belongs to the viewer, is not vested in the telling. Its call and response has no a priori aesthetic, only such as appears in coherence. He knows where he is going, but is not sure of his way. He knows by going, hence he knows by doing, to praise in breath and prepare to wear the Word as a living scroll within, literal handwritten  boxes bound on the head and hand, on top of precepts retold that we ourselves are in the Word that underlies and surrounds what is said, a coat to give away what transfers by will, which you're going to say you've been praying all these years to have, and will. Herberger exhibits before this included Pity Pony, Out of Body and Out of Body II, Boxcar Named Desire and  Corn, Rice and Bean Jar. The Herberger entry process stipulates ten digital images. Those selected make this pattern.

* Boomquats. Don't know where else to put this right now, so make it small. The death of the Uncon doesn't include the loss of breath and autonomic nervous systems. It does include the loss of falsity, deception, fear, powers of dominion. Not a utopia, it is called the Kingdom of God. Whether that's what it is or whether that's another ruse planted and interpreted by the Boomquats needs discerning. Boomquats are a name for Jung's Freud forces. Those forces are no more endemic to the human than sin. As sin is done, death dies, which you think a utopian dream, but it is not, assuredly not. The roar. the roar.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unloading the Last Reitz Wood Kiln, 20 Jan 2014

These ideas, called minimalist, and abstract expressionist, arising in conversation like Legends of the Unconscious, not yet written exactly, have many sources to do with vacancy and presence, vacancy of the design and designer, presence of the flows of the natural. Making and repeating patterns to identify work as recognizable of a certain brand is a betrayal of vacancy, but a necessity of exhibition and style, at least after the effect. Dropping a stone on glass as Lee Ufan, making by erosion, breakage, eruption, gravity, is vacancy. If firings are apocalypses what are "reconciliations of the good?" No results found. The pine will die in the fire! Lee Ufan, in Mono-ha, the School of Things, says unknowing materials reveal knowledge. Against thought and forethought when stone hits glass the breakage conforms to gravity and glass, not the intention of the artist, if not, the result is mere thought. Only the tension of artist, glass and stone, the freedom of each to act and crack unknowingly reveals qualities inherent in, but not visible as object. Yes this is a little simple. Crack the stone, conceal the stone, railroad ties reveal connotations of forced labor in Japanese colonies in World War II, Ireland's famine stone walls around the Burren are famine walls denoting starvation and slavery. Starkly burning wood makes charcoal. So we might study with creosote and yarrow, mugwort and water or take it further and look in the tortoise mirror. Extremes of Biological Extinction preoccupies such beings.

Laminating Opposites. Mercury

Listening for the spirit of knowing and not knowing as a human mind, as if passage tombs were like wood kilns, even pollution is a good we can all talk about while laminating opposites with volcano, chalk hill, wood kiln, maybe infiltrating cone 5 clay into cone tens with bark and organics, rocks, volcanic ash, erosion deposition, reburying feldspar, shigaraki layering,  cracking, stressing with cedar berries, pine needles, sycamore bark, buckeye pods, chicken bones, fish streams of shino in the underclay where spines are buried, pebbles, manure, vermiculite! beetles! road kill!, chollas, spines, pads, all buried. But who dares it? Hope to hatch out a split scarab stretching geologics. Mercury-like thrust faults and global contraction of the planet, we should say, with lobate scarps from interior cooling. Mercury, as Casanova's pieces, has a larger core than other inner planets. Cumulative compressional strain recorded in the lobate scarps suggests a decrease in Mercury's radius, which the kiln can easily top, at least 10%. So a reduction gas kiln imitates the anagama: Core contractions produced the lobate scarps [scalps] or cliffs of implosion, displacement thrust faults, compressional stresses, thermal contraction, lineated terrain. Preexisting crater rims disrupted into crude polygonal hills and fractures, mantled, blanketed by impact ejecta. Miners, dwarves, nibelungs explode the iron oxide earth clay coat, rutile wash, cobalt hole.

All these global aspects of Mercury lead to a loss of surface that secreting, planting of contradiction into the clay body makes. Slumping, cutting earthquakes seek the volcano in the kiln. The pollution in saying so calls fire out of the medieval Cloud of Unknowing with the spirit. Fathom that after the volcano, like the shell of a man shrunk, heart sack creased like a pot expelled from itself, when you don't have naught to say. Thought burns up. Intellect ceases tasks. You stand struck, parietal lobes rewired.This destruct is art? art. All these firings are apocalypses. Before I left for Clarksdale I read that when the sixth angel sounds it will loose the angels bound in the Euphrates.

 Fire is romanticized. Think the sculptors and the piscine shapes of women know that we go in this fire? Been touched? Once burned? Twice? Why were they in the Euphrates (not the Gihon, Tigris, or Nile)? Why had they been bound, now loosed?! You know why. The 200 million horses breathe fire, smoke and brimstone. They are kilns some critic would say, wrenching scripture as does Kafka's analogy of the Wall of China for the Tower of Babel. China to Babel, horses to kilns, all prophets, Enoch, Noah, David, Isaiah, Jonah, Jesus, John are traditional and iconoclastic. Consider making a whip to cleanse the Temple. Kafka enforces scripture with the best Biblicals. Believe that and read the Great Wall of China and the kiln opening like my nephew asking what the opening of the seventh seal means. I told him that I hate to spoil the ending. I subscribe parageography to geology with the voyages of Odysseus, Virgil, St. Brenden. As Beowulf stands beside the burning mere Of plumb immensity before he’ll go Into the vast abysm without fear, And wonders if that watery bed’s his bier Before he draws a breath of earth’s sweet air, And dives into the darkness of the mere:

Poetry? You say there's a difference between water and earth, air and fire, male and female? More pollution of  intellect?

The wood kiln  is about  blushes girls make when they come out and open their faces. The Unloading makes the color ranges known. In the catacombs Don Reitz is rumored to mix his clays from a WSO base, with a pinch of the secret (oxide). Others are trucking raw clay from the East as Reitz draws From The Heart. Implicit reduction of oxygen or oxidation forced with ash and smoke from chemicals saturated in the clay makes them blush. Iron and copper clay compositions set up blushes with the wood, depending whether pecan, walnut, pine. Some place they fire with cinnamon, persimmon, madrone. Lee Ufan (Japan), Claudi Casanovas (Spain) and Donald Judd (W Tex (Marfa!)), range to and fro over takes of this natural, cuts of stone hills and scrub growth, sun and sky.

 Mining Minimals
Truth Business:

How can the intellect pollute the natural and its art when it thinks it is mining the heart? All mining produces contamination of surface and subsurface, slag heaps, gob piles, subsidence, runoff increase. Chemicals concentrate in water that the Reitz Ranch is well situated to recall, chemicals concentrated in the Verde River run right by. Consider the Verde river polluted with mine tailings and arsenic runoff just down from here where Cottonwoods fish the river. Maybe they don't drink the water, but abandoned smelter stacks and slag piles wash down leftover mines also in Globe, Bisbee, Jerome and a hundred others. Compare these with the intellectual pollution of the natural in the human. Like it or not, seeking depth, mines are the depth of art mirroring life that cannot take the pristine uprights of Reitz' sculptural  recall, with its crosses and grave artifacts, other than as if they were the River Shannon graveyards of Clonmacnoise. The last thing I remember is Jonathan Cross saying something like, "the fire of the volcano," who insisted that deliberation of ceramic takes of the world were intellectual, after a taking of the natural. The argument was that had they the colors we have they'd certainly used them. So the sea would not remain the wine-dark of Homer. But what is art if not pollution, considering our surroundings, the hills barren, the river poisoned, the sky filled with chemtrails all the sun filled day? Intellect to intellect? I didn't say this. I am listening as if knowing is finding the spirit of knowing and not knowing simultaneously, as in a human mind.The red, black and white clay colors of ancient statuary are like the three classical colors, the only colors, inferred from Arabic.

Kiln opening.

Don't you love art talk? Don Reitz is famous for it. Claudi Casanovas, in Twenty Blocks, says "each piece is a silence. If I were a poet, I would inscribe words there." Here Casanovas too, but such impossibility! The silence is complete. Only his stressing of materials is exciting, The problem all these boys have is why should I buy their pieces when I can go to Winslow and buy petrified wood as big or bigger than I can lift, already stressed? The stressing of materials echoes Mono-ha. The impression these give on the GalerieBesson site is of a depersonalization attractive because the viewer doesn't have to figure out the message, recognize the face, interpret the image. It's a rock its own self collecting, but there were no human figures in the kiln. Donald Judd collaborated with his father, but had extreme distaste for galleries and art biz. Artist as "designer," not "maker" might not obscure that design. Whether preceding the made, made in the making, or found after, in breaking, this is a mere time constraint, for should there be time no longer, to further the Biblical, if then, then now, time is a convenience for those who talk. If no time, then no human maker either, not to deny the work, merely to say nothing, certainly not thank you for saying it is good. What's your problem anyway? He died rich. He was so rich he started a foundation in Marfa. That's where Robert Creeley got sick in order to die in Odessa.

Afterward I got out a pit fired Papago pot from the old trader Kermit Lee acquired when he liquidated. You can see the burn marks and its softness: “Eight miles from the Pisinemo Road is the Quijotoa Trading Post. Quijotoa is a Spanish corruption of KiaHoaToak, Papago for “carrying basket mountain.” The Quijotoa Mountains were mined in 1774 and again with more importance in the 1880s. At the trading post, Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Lee have a wonderful selection of Papago baskets and pottery. Baskets range from thumb-nail miniatures made of horsehair to waste basket size of yucca, beargrass, and martynia…Almost directly across from the Trading Post is a road north to Santa Rosa Village. Just west of it is Ventana Cave; and here lies some of the most ancient history in North America.” Desert Magazine,

2014 and after --"Firing in wood burning kilns gave him new surfaces to explore along with new clay bodies that he discovered while in Japan, clay from Shigaraki. Sandy clay from the bed of Lake Biwa has a warm orange color which characterizes Shigaraki ware [?] of irregular contours and archaic flavor. Firing technique shifted from reduction to oxidation firing, which allows free admission of air during the firing rather than limited air admission into the kiln. This allows iron oxides to be used as part of the coloring process. The allowance of free air is due to the type of ancient kiln, called an anagama kiln, which is used to fire Shigaraki ware...achieves the mineral glaze surface. Depending on the placement of the piece, the resulting coat of ash and minerals will vary with a greyish to a reddish-brown colorizing, small impurities protrude, caused by embedded quartz [feldspar?] partially fired. Covered with a thin layer of overrun yellowish-brown to a peach blossom red color glaze that crackles when fired is also characteristic."

Voulkos "Invented each time as if for the first time then reinvented as part of the history of invention."...geology of art, archeology, layer by layer...primeval geology, gap, crack, smash, sludge, of the crack, the burned crack, the torn edge, plasticity, viscosity, drying, slashed, embedded, incised, scratched, scored, incised wax resist stacks, plates, STACKS! contours, recesses, fit for caves, spelunkers, "destroy itself at the same time it creates," ...original wary attitude toward applied glaze solidified to total avoidance...cylinder, dome, sphere, disk, plate, slab. Leather hard wheel forms joined in various combinations in stacks or ice buckets (?) muscular, irreverent, anti-academic [primitef] (From the introduction of Clay's Tectonic Shift: John Mason ceramic walls].  Mason began to make massive rough-hewn walls... huge cross forms and solid, geometric shape...imprinting the finished form with the gestural force of its making-ceramic walls]. Walls, vertical totems, crosses, reaching for the primitive.

We are going to have to forgive Voulkos for being an influence on so many ceramic artists. That's their fault. Also forgive the force of his personality, here's a good pic. The solitude, rejection, anger, energy, dislocation: “The minute you begin to understand what you’re doing it loses that searching quality.  Your emotions take over and what happens just happens. Usually you don’t know it’s happened until after it’s done. the influence of Franz Kline

Of the influence of Franz Kline: "Bridges, tunnels, buildings, engines, railroads, and other architectural and industrial icons are imagery informing Kline's work; lines, planes, facets, coal, "Kline’s memories of his native Pennsylvania’s coal-mining region, with its stark scenery, locomotives and similar massive mechanical shapes to which the titles of his later abstract images sometimes referred." Reading that Franz Kline's black and white paintings with tunnels and roads stems from his childhood in Wilkes Barre and the coal mines makes me wonder at the influence of that house along the railroad where we lived from 5-16. Especially the early years, starting 1947 the trains smoke was not scrubbed. What was later white was black as soot, especially where the freights had to go up a gentle rise we live in the middle of. There were two tracks, only freight trains, that went to and way from the Pennsylvania Railroad train yard a few miles down. This was a big operation hillsides undermined by coal extraction prevented development.When I look at these rectilineal constructs, crosses etc I see grave stone ceremonials. Much of Voulkos, Callas, Reitz is suited to memorials. De Kooning also enters these associations, who I have long loved, block and slices. I love everything he says about art non art.


Malcolm Davis

Their glazes were basically feldspar with a little ash.

The secret of carbon-trapping is in one ingredient: soda ash. My particular glaze has
about 18% soda ash. Many shinos have no soda ash at all and are glazes used by potters
who do not want carbon-trapping and are searching for a more traditional Japanese sur-
face. I love those pots, but I am obsessed with carbon and soot.
reduction pulls the oxy out of the glaze that was grown in, sulfide to sufate
Note on celadon: a little tin oxide and/or barium carbonate will help with the blue color.

John Mason
The common reduction fired Shino glazes in North America are mostly gloss or semigloss, fat, white crackle glazes with some orange to red and dark red from iron in the clay body or iron slips under the glaze. Shinos were born in Japan as almost pure high fired feldspar glazes. Shino on porcelain requires underglaze iron bearing slips, or in-glaze iron (i.e. from an iron-containing kaolin). Shinos are fluxed with soda spars and nepheline syenite and do not contain calcium because it dissolves the iron and inhibits the red color. Shinos usually do not have added silica, the silica being contributed by the feldspars and the clays in the glaze. Some Shinos contain Spodumene, which may be added to balance the high expansion soda spars. A simple Shino recipe is 70% Nepheline Syenite and 30% Kaolin. Shino

Iron Glazes

After: I have done less of this in clay than I did in glass and words. The world is before us, but the pot remains after. Ask what he will do tomorrow if he had success today-what are you working on, as they do all novelists. The answer is there is no time and what is done is done before, during and after.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eruptions in Phoenix

 Eons from now we're going to find these pots and think civilization was here, like in Greece and Rome. Can you imagine what they'll conclude when they dig up the Ceramics Research Center?

A series of pots excavated from ancient Roman digs, probably from Pompeii, either that or they were broken and put back together by shard hunters: an appealing view is that they had just been thrown before the holocaust, but saved by that atmospheric bisque in the moment of  eruption, 800 degrees in some places, low fire, which accounts for the stress. They have been delayed in arrival from customs boondoggles. Please understand all these statements as if they are still waiting to be fired @ cone 10, and are made to look as if they had undergone those stresses. I suppose the striations and cracks from stretching the clay also occur from the suddenness of heat without kindling, though they must have been sitting there to dry some time after being taken off the wheel. 
Afterward the heavy ash would have sifted from the cracks leaving them as you see. Further  post Pompeii studies are likely to record sources. In one we can just see traces of an outline of Italy in the remains.

Egypt. Another series of these fiery disasters occurred at Fall of the Egyptian Zodiac, part natural, part political which could be linked to politics, lining up modern Cairo with Naples, which presents constellations in the promise of a horn blown against the serpent [tyrant] Ouroboros, fulfilled in the upraised arms of the Warrior Deliverer, but the top blew off. Put to biscuit kindle an hour, the controls were left on high from the previous fire. The floor manager did not return for an hour. Turning on the fan to clear the smell (and smoke), which  made more thermal shock, in another hour there was a  crack. Zodiac exploded all over the kiln. That was the end of democracy. You may say of the elders of Egypt, even if their faces get singed, that if the top is exploded the bottom may go. That of course leaves us worse off than when we started. That the walls are still standing is something that the vessel will not hold. The complete story is here at Foresight and Fall of the Egyptian Zodiac.

These politics would need a greater series of earthquakes with great splits and cracks in faces and cliffs of pots,  but the daring needs to be great because the whole construct is at risk, especially from inch thick impasto slices of porcelain speed dried over other base laminated clays which accelerate the cracks. 

Syria These matters affect Syria among the Arab states. Did not CIA boast in recent bulletins that it overthrew the Iran democracy in 1953 to put in the Shah? Obama wants what exactly Bush, Johnson, et. al. did. Wait for the news.