Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Clay Craftsmanship

Isaac Button was a country potter in England during the sixties. He was not an artist in the modern sense of the word, but a production potter. He turned out thousands of usable clay pots that were used like we use Tupperware today.

He could make one pot in about 25 seconds. In an hour, he could turn out 120 pots. In a day, 1,200. The ton of clay he could throw in a day he dug himself from the hillside. Each firing of his 500 cubic foot kiln had to be stoked with two and half tons of coal at six firemouths. That kept him up for 48 hours or more at a time, during which he would climb on to the hot kiln roof, to pull out test firings.

I've spent hours just trying to make one good clay vessel, but it never happened. They looked like shit and I just called them "abstract art". I would have loved to sit down with him for an afternoon to talk and watch. He passed away in 1969.

Isaac Button

1 comment:

Meemers said...

That was mesmerizing...amazing.

He seemed so at peace - with his work and the world.

I guess you can be crafty as a profession...