Walking through Mt. Tabor park this morning, I encountered this:
From far away, and with the surrounding trees, it was less arresting. But from below, against the sky? Lovely.
I also made it to the Ceramics Showcase. It was not as inspiring as I had hoped, and I felt a little guilty for not being inspired until I talked things through with J. later. I am really heading in a different direction with my work, certainly away from functional pottery, and the work at Showcase is heavy on function.
I did chance to attend while Brad Mildrexler (of whom I was not previously familiar with) was on the demo stage, and that was worth watching. His work is, well, not heavy on function for one thing, and his surfaces in particular are an alluring combination of glisten, crack, and bubble. I of course looked him up once I was back in front of a screen again, and lo! no substantive internet presence. I’m not too surprised; he seems like he’s too busy gathering rocks and mud to be bothered with computers.
Watching him work took the smug right off of my face.
He reminded me of Jeff Bridges, especially in his most recent film — that particular kind of soulful/bedraggled. And his authority with the clay! Fifty pounds at once — slap, thud, onto a board on the floor — so casual but also masterful, and in a few more flips and slams it was a massive, even slab. Once he had the basic form established, he started splashing slip, wood ash from his fireplace, rocks, a piece of a wine bottle that he broke with a hammer mid-demo, all layered and textured into the surface.
It’s kind of dumb for be to describe it, because I can’t re-create the sense of his ease, his confidence in the choices he was making each moment, or his seeming lack of attachment to a particular piece as he worked on it. Things that I admire.