Monday, March 02, 2009

gardening, cooking, growing old, collecting, making, ceramics, clouds, weather and art

New nests just out of the kiln at "Planet" in Sydney

"The most powerful leaders are those who have nothing to gain. That is, what they are doing is not for self-interest, but for principle. The most powerful artists, I suspect, are those who simply must live that life where art is the purpose of life and life is the purpose of art because there is no separation or distinction between their art and life."pp.8
Richard Jacobs from "Searching for Beauty- letters from a collector to a studio potter"

This quote is from an extraordinary book that came into my hands a couple of months ago. It is a series of letters written by academic, art lover and collector of ceramics Richard Jacobs to contemporary American potter Christa Assad.


Jug byChrista Assad

What Richard is doing with these letters is addressing a sweep of themes across collecting and making art using the abstract device of sending letters to a real potter. Christa did receive these letters but, in fact, never replied to them. Here is what Richard writes about this:
"But the letters were written for the generic reader who might be interested in the arts; the questions posed to Christa were questions that I hoped would be valuable for any reader to consider. I sent the letters to many potters and friends and they were circulated and passed on to many interested people."

These questions are interesting, not just as a maker but also as a valuable insight into the dedicated collector. The concerns that collectors have differ from the concerns of a maker. We exist in symbiosis but rarely cross paths and it is rarer still for the collector and the artist to engage in intellectual discussion of motivations, process and shared passions. This fascinating book encompasses gardening, cooking, growing old, collecting, making, ceramics, clouds, weather and art.


Jugs by Christa Assad

It is exciting that such an esoteric, personal reflection on the nature of our business should be published.

4 comments:

Sophie Milne said...

I never ceased to be amazed by all your 'hard work' in this blog Shannon.
And can't keep up with the list of things I want to read thanks to your recommendations!
The contrast in the dark nest pictured is just beautiful. Any traveling south?

carole epp said...

Love the new pieces! and thanks for the thoughts on the book, i've been meaning for a while to get my hands on a copy.

Rachel Power said...

What a fantastic-sounding book. I will have to track it down. And your work really is stunning!

buddha-builder said...

Wow. I love that quote too, and will also have to look up the book. And I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this blog. Lovely work here.