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"Pots are the earth they are made of. They are its colors - the colors of fields, swamps and riverbeds. Their common materials are mediated only by fire . . . When you put your hand against my pots you are palm to palm with the artist."

- Nadine Gordimer in "African Earth"


GREETINGS! Welcome to my livejournal of Ceramics Education and Archaeology! Below you will find entries in reverse chronological order. My "Related Live Journals" page links you to a variety of related art/archaeology livejournal pages. My "About Courtney" page leads you to some more information about myself and this journal. Please visit often and comment by clicking on the right-hand "Leave a Comment" link. I look forward to exchanging dialogues with you! Thank you for visiting.

- Courtney
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Jun. 30th, 2013 @ 04:37 pm Marguerite Wildenhain
A Diary to Franz Wildenhain
2004. Decorah, Iowa: South Bear Press.

"I left Holland on March 3, 1940, on a Dutch boat. We glided through mine fields in the English Channel in the night, and arrived on the 12th in New York."
Marguerite Widenhain: The Invisible Core: A Potter's Life and Thoughts. 1973

collaboration of artists with her diaries

signature is a half black and white jug - two sides of the relationship?

ROck and mineral collection:

27 October 2004

"In the beginning I worked from Marguerite's smallish blue deinm notebook . . . although some pieces are unidentified, or missing, there are many lovely specimens that reflect Marguerite's life, such as citrines, garnets, and fossil oysters with their mother-of-pearl layer preserved." n.p.
Jean Young

Sonoma County - connection to Christos and earthart?

garden on back cover at the site of her memorial

Why is this even a book?



The Invisible Core
A Potter's Life and Thoughts
Marguerite Wildenhain
Pacific Books: Palo Alta CA
1973

"Crafts, as they were known in eras before the Industrial Revolution, cannot, and do not exist todayu. Since they are not, anymore, an essential part of the economy, they have lost their importance in the life of a nation. Instead, the crafts have mainly become an artistic endeavor for those who have the deep urge to make personal things of beauty with their hands, or they have become the therapeutic need, and relief, for all those who are not satisfied with our mechanized and mechanistic way of life." 13

"The average art student, thus, does not learn that to be a creative craftsman requires a specific and personal way of looking at the world, at life, at his fellow-men, at nature, and also at the future." 14

"If one has imagination and talent and has the understanding of both the requirements of one's craft and also of the intellectual and artistic needs of our time, whatever comes from such an artist's hand will be valide, not only from us now, but also for the future, because these objects will have enduring human value. Let us, then - and I mean every single one of us who is dedicated to the crafts - let us stress unrelentingly, in our lives, in our work, in our teaching, what is really essential to the development of a craftsman." 14

"I shall thus try as best I can, to tell this story as if I were decorating a real pot, here too, I shall eliminate everything that is not essential to my theme." 15

"We were potters, weavers, metal-workers, or cabinet-makers, and we tried to be excellent ones. That was all, but that was plenty, we thought, and felt" 27

"In the first few months of our training we were mainly taught how to throw pots and were under the main attention of the Krehan. We made the basic shapes our master showed us in rows of 30 or more, until we masters these, and then went on to others. After half a year or so, when we could thrown any form we chose, we started making our own pots, our own objects, and forms. Then we moved into the new workshop, and from them on it was Marcks who was our essential teacher. REally creative work started then. Imaginative, clear forms, and a decoration, if any, to fit to those forms, were our aims and were what Marcks perpetually demanded and stressed." 27

"So also, I feel that the pictures on that imaginary pot of my life have no covered the whole surface." 35

"Early in my childhood, Mother had developed in me a love and understanding for all that went on in the outdoors. Later, as I started my training as a sculptor and as a potter, I soon found out how little I actually did know about nature and how superficially I had looked at her." 38

"If it were possible to put into a few words what is the aim of a craftsman, I would say the following: To make from a chosen material objects that he visualizes in his mind, objects that are beautiful and expressive. Expressive of what, you may ask me, and I shall answer: Expressive of what the craftsman feels, thinks, knows, sees, expressive thus of his total personality and, because he cannot escape it, expressive also of his time and his country." 39

"we need nature for the form-giving impulse it conveys to the craftsman, for the lesson in patient observation and concentration it teaches him, for the sincerity of expression it forces upon him,, fo the amazing object lessons it gives him of solving functional problems ingeniously." 51

"The center of a craftsman will have developed as he studies nature, for nature will help him unite inside of himself different and separate tends of knowledge and personal emotional experiences." 52

laments art education, "art centers mushroom, brilliant quipped with everything - but the artists" 64
"It is impossible to teach art to every student, housewife, or bored old lady who takes an course and then 'makes art too'" 64
yet acknowledging that she "burned all my bridges to the Oakland College" 78
Also: "Even art educators have invited me to be what they call a 'controversial' speaker at their conferences. ALthough I always feel as if I were putting my head in a wasp nest, I have always accepted." 111
But concedes "I am not questioning the integrity or the honesty of most teachers, but I am questioning their training and their teaching potential." 137
Also hope in that "We need schools that can convey to young people the high glory of lives dedicated to an idea, . . that believe in victories of the mind . . . that will be able to infiltrate into the very substance of their students a deep and indelible urge to learn." 139

1944: has Jack Kerouac food experiences, getting rides, exchanging stories: "It was like one of those Dutch pictures with the food piled up on it: butter and rolls in huge quantities, milk in jugs, cheese, and then soup, two sorts of meat in large dishes, different vegetables, potatoes, beans, salad, fruit, and pie. And that too was only 50 cents" 86

"Suppose you were told that you would have to stay in your house for six months, your material needs all looked after, but without being able to get out. Your first reaction would naturally be to resent this imprisonment deeply, and to resist it strongly. . . But, let us suppose that you had another point of view. You could accept the situation as inexorable, start thinking and looking around you to find out what was available - what you could see, what you could do, what you could make. Here were your books on art, literature, religion, and philosophy, and in different languages; each of them could give you enough to think about, to learn, to work with, for months if not years. There were also the windows like so many openings on Life. You could see the sky, some trees or a house, people, or a street with passing traffic. You might discover that you wished to observe closely so as to draw, or paint, or sculpt, or you might wish to write, prose or poetry, or even whole stories as you watched the daily movement of certain persons passing again and again in front of your windows. Your imagination would fill in what you could not see or know. A plant in a flowerpot might occupy your for weeks, drawing it, watching the leaves uncurl, unfold, and grow, and die off again in the regular cycle of the plant." 101

"All great artists, in all fields, all geniuses have always tired to learn as much as they possibly could, from everybody and everything that could teach them something valuable." 105

Of her cat: "One spring morning, Poesje stolled through my open front door into my house, walked around the room, and settled on my couch. When I asked her what she was doing, she looked at me with her beautiful golden eyes, set like precious stones in her black face, and said 'This is going to be my house, but I like you, and you can live in it too. You will feed me and take good care of me, and I will always be quiet, independent, and beautiful. Is that not a fair exchange?'
'Of course,' I answered, 'As long as you are quiet and go your own ways, as I do too, we will get along fine.'" p 118
love this sense of myth!

"Traveling through the mountains of Peru a few years ago, I saw many things that stirred me profoundly . . . As soon as the train appeared at the station, there appeared, as if dropping out of the blue sky, about a dozen young Indian girls, all carrying huge and lovely bouquets of flowers, which they hoped to sell to the traveler. Each bouquet was different from the other, according to the taste of the girl, in the way they were fitted together with other flowers, grasses, weeds, and leaves. Some were mostly white, very subtle in their relations, blueish or pale yellow or sophisticated light pinks and greys. Others were flashing with large red flowers, others had a lively combination of red, yellows, whites with lush green leaves. . . all were beautiful as angels from Heaven, and it was like a vision from another sphere. I cannot explain in so many cold words what went through my heart at that moment. I felt: These girls were much more than Indian girls trying to sell the only product of their valley to the tourists. They were both Diane the Chaste, and Ceres the Fruitful, in one. They were the eternal young girl, a woman of all times, and of any country." 124

"To see creatively is one thing, but it is quite another to be able to convey this emotion in a valid form." 126

"The success of our pottery school seems to lie in the fact that we are trying above anything else to develop honest and creative craftsmen." 142

"Once a week we have a drawing afternoon. We draw rocks, materials, trees, bottles, textures, or people. We try to learn to see, to observe, to remember, and to convey what has moved us with a line or in relief or in sculpture" 142

worried about eating with a room of all male loggers in her travels, but ultimately more concerned about being caught out beyond the curfew allowed her per her international status

notes reading "Goethe, or LaoTse, or Van Gogh, Rodin, Delacroiz, Gide, or T. S. Eliot." 143

"Pond Farm is not a 'school'; it is actually a way of life, and I believe that the attraction of our session is not only that the students learn their craft, but, more than that, they also learn to concentrate and to find themselves." 145

teachers, professors, engineers, GI Bill folks, boy with bad teeth and trouble with police - found to be deaf and illiterate.
"He went to the pentiteniary with notiing but my book." 148 - continied tp write. now married with own shop.

another Kerouacian description of "a tall woman with an unusually striking face. She was like Athena in an archaic sculpture, and when she was distressed, she wore the mask of the tragic Muse." 152
studied at BMC too, had a nervous breakdown, later became secretary of Pond Farm, later got married

divided visitors into four categories: "The 'nice ones' who know something about opts, whether they buy or not, who come again and again, and those who are interesting people, as such, and after a while become my friends.
2. The others, the 'stupid ones.' The best you can say about them, if you have a sense of humor, is that one can get a laugh out of them. Sometimes. . .
3. There are many ceramics teachers who seem to have increased like mushrooms in the last years (often with as little knowledge of pottery as the mushrooms) . . .
4. As a last category, there are all those confused and unhappy souls of our time who are looking for a 'way of life' or advice on their schooling, or their job, or even on their marriage" 154
"Not too rarely, visitors even become your students. So be kind to them!" 155

"the pot I am making should come to life through the medium of my hands. *Its* life, *its* expression was my aim, and if the pot came to life it would naturally also convey all that I felt while making it: the gratitude to be alive, to be able to see, to feel, to be inspired by the beauty of this earth, also my complete devotion to this beauty in all its manifested splendors, in man and beast, rock and flower, weed and wave, sun, moon, and stars. And if, time after time, and year after year, I cut into clay, men working, families around a fire on a beach, or at camp, my aim was to say what I felt so deeply, every time more clearly, and, possibly every time a little better and perhaps *once* really well." 206
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ceramics
Feb. 11th, 2013 @ 06:10 pm 5 secret keys to the world of remedies varo
Benjamin Peret - husband poet
Painted furniture and toys in Mexico
Microbe hunters and cosmos

"In *The Red Weaver* (1956) and *Weaver of Verona*(1956), women patiently knit together the threads which will give life to a new woman who leaves through the window. in other paintings such as *Weaver* (1956) or *Embroidering the Earth's Mantle* (1961), Varo grants women the power to transcend the cosmos, the universe, or perhaps even fate. The artist had a great interest in sewing. she designed and made her own clothing, aswell as costumes for Surrealists living in exile in Mexico. Sewing, knitting, and weaving, along with patient study of form and color, all helped her develop keen observational skills that manifested themselves in her excellent technique and masterful brushwork." 40

"Many of her early canvases are populated by hybrid beings: a blend of human and machine" 44

Weaving Space and Time

1958 letter from Paris to Walter Gruen: "It is clear to me that I definitely do not belong to the people and things anymore." 152

Notebook of dreams and recipes

Car ginger appeared in many paintings

Farewell - my cat!

Woman leaving psychoanalyst

Gypsy and harlequin

See OTC for authors!
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ceramics
Feb. 10th, 2013 @ 08:54 pm The Magic of Remedios Varo
2000

From Octavio Paz, qtd in foreward Rafael Tovar 11
'rare poetry . . . The paintings of Remedios are enigams: we should listen to their colors and dance with their forms without ever trying to decipher them. They are not mysterious paintings; they are marvelous"

"There are so many different magics" - Leonora Carrington 15

"Varo was . . . a living artist, bursting with energy, full of experiences and a curiosity with which she consumed the world around her. She had a magnetic presence and a disturbing gaze." 15

"Because Varo's work has always been well-loved by Mexican arc collectors, it cannot be said that the artist was ever ignored." 15

See Chadwick, Whitney for more of Remedios in context of other surrealists

Varo did not enjoy drawing until she encountered the exquisite corpses - group drawing

"in Mexico she was, above all, free. There were neither popes nor prophets, there wer no small kinds to whom she owed homage." 43

"The cosmos is one of her favorite references; she developed clever notions to explain the most beautiful things." 47

Weaver of Verona

Unexpected Visit

Farewell - my cat!

Still Life REviving
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ceramics
Feb. 10th, 2013 @ 02:32 pm Glittering Images
Humanities and Digital Media prof
Could I use this for First Year Seminar?

"How to survive in this age of vertigo? We must relearn how to see. Amid so much jittery visual clutter, it is critical to find *focus*, the basis of stability, identity, and life direction." vii

"Civilization is defined by law and art. Laws govern our external behaviour, while art expresses our soul." xi

"Art is a marriage of the ideal and the real. Art making is a branch of artisanship. Artists are craftsmen, closer to carpenters and welders than they are to intellectuals and academics, and their inflated, self-referential rhetoric. Art uses and speaks to the senses. It is grounded in the tangible physical world." xi

"The only road to freedom is self-education in art. Art is not a luxury for any advanced civilization; it is a necessity, without which creative intelligence will whither and die. " xviii
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ceramics
Feb. 10th, 2013 @ 01:22 am The Exquisite Corpse
daspada

collaborations with poets

could this connect to zines?

could you use this with first year seminar?
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ceramics
Oct. 25th, 2012 @ 12:40 am Transforming City Schools Through Art
Hutzel

Jessie Whitehead. Counternarratives: Considering Urban Students' Voices in Art Education

counterstories - not usually told
concealed - marginal
resistance - about anti-racism
emerging - new stories
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ceramics
Oct. 24th, 2012 @ 11:57 pm Museums at Play: Games, interactions, and learning
Beale, K. Ed 2011. Museums at Play: Games, interactions, and learning. Museums etc

Intro Beale
"Most museums are built around objects whose relevance is in their story; their history and human connections." 15

youhavefoundconey.net - steal the art, forge it, return it to artist, museum or someone else.
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ceramics
Oct. 24th, 2012 @ 01:42 am Action Research Methods
Klein, S. (2012). Action Research Methods. New York: Palgrave.

Klein - Action Research: Before you Dive in, Read this

"artifacts: Participant-generated; teacher-generated; physical artifacts found in the visual and material culture of classrooms, schools, or other settings; documents or other evidences included in a portfolio" 11
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ceramics
Sep. 6th, 2012 @ 01:07 am Understanding Digital Humanities
Berry, D. (Ed). 2012. New York: Palgrave

An Intepretation of Digital Humanities
Leighton Evans and Sian Rees

*mentions how typewriter changed Nietsche's writing. "digital technology will change the way that some us work, research, and produce *material*. It will likely also change the conclusions we draw from our work." 38
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ceramics
Sep. 3rd, 2012 @ 10:39 pm Switching Codes
Bartschere, T. and Coover, R. (2011). Switching codes: Thinking through digital technology in the humanities and the arts. U of Chicago Press: Chicago.

We Digital Sensemakers
Mark Stefik

"Sensemaking is the process by which we go about understanding the world. It is as natural as breathing and eating. . . Sensemaking employs . . . social activities such as sharing, recommending, critiquing, and discussing. The promise of digital and social sensemaking is to radicallyt inprove our ability to make sense of information." 38


Logical induction, machine learning, and human creativity
Jean-Gabriel Ganascia

I love originality so much that I keep copying it.

I am the derivative product of an origianlity that spawns me as it spurns me.

The work of art "itself" does not exist, only incommensurable social contexts through which it emerges and into which it vanishes.

The author dies, the author's work is born.

Poems are networked texts.

Existence needs essence the way a walking tour needs local color.

In the world of the imagination, impossible just means the next oppotunity to get real.

Authority is never abolished but constantly reinscribes itself in new places.
299

Digital space is not so much disembodied as differently bodied. And those different bodies can be as scary as the demons that huant our dreams for human freedom.

There is pleasure, also, in delusions: not of grandeur of agency.

Connect the knots.

But computers will never replace poets because computers won't take that much abuse.

A hole in an argument is not the same as a point of light.
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ceramics