Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Illuminating Craftsmanship

We have technologically surpassed Gutenberg. And yet, people still want -- still appreciate -- illuminated manuscripts. Whether ignorantly, or esoterically, or religiously, or athletically -- we appreciate the skillful use of materials that man's hand is capable of.

That hand-to-art is something that scratches an itch in the human soul -- even more when technology threatens to make us -- in the minds of the science fiction buff and the reasonably paranoid -- dispensable.

And, in a funny, ironic twist, that hand-to-art moves at a speed faster than technology. It moves at the speed of man's need to create and be stimulated by that creativity. It is our focus on product that makes us see creativity as slow.

For the thirty years that I have been a potter there has ALWAYS been technology available to help artists increase production in the media of their choice. And that technology has historically been rejected or at the very least moderated (and certainly so by art fairs) to limit technologically produced inventories according to medium.

In those cases, technology has been rejected because we know that ultimately the thing that brings people to the art fairs or to the potter's studio is that those are some of the best places in the country to get a taste of where the human hand meets creativity.

We craftsmen offer the best way to see the most immediate creative expression of the skill of man's hand married to the latest ideas of his mind. And people come to witness that immediacy, charmed because they have the ideas themselves -- it is the skills they lack and thus admire in us and our work.

That always was the strength -- the appeal -- of the working artist/craftsman -- not simply the product we offered for sale. We were selling people's dreams back to them.

1 comment:

  1. Yes indeed we are! My post today was much similar.
    We offer something they only dream about.
    Thanks John!