British pottery Isaac Button
Absolutely amazing- deserves to be reposted
Isaac Button was the last true English country potter. In a day, he could turn a ton of clay into pots. When timed he threw a lump of clay on to the wheel, pulled it high, then cut it off with wire in 22 seconds. In an hour, he could turn out 120 pots. In a day, 1,200.
Isaac Button died in 1969 and his kiln, at Soil Hill, near Halifax, now lies cold and desolate.
In his day, speed was essential. Even before the packaging revolution, household pots and jugs made from clay were treated as disposables. They cost only a few pence. Craftsmen potters had to be quick to earn a living from poorly-paid villagers.
Kept waiting for his tobacco pipe to fall into his pots.
*not to be confused with wasabi indeed!
What I strive for everyday with my life. I don’t consider myself to be a religious person, but if anything, this is my religion. To find peace and joy in the everyday blunders that, without them, who would ever know true happiness.
Kizaemon Tea-Bowl, Korea, 16th Century (used for Japanese Tea Ceremony, 17th Century).
“This single Tea-bowl is considered to be the finest in the world. When I saw it, my heart fell. … So simple, no more ordinary thing could be imagined. …The clay had been dug from the hill at the back of the house; the glaze was made with the ash from the hearth; the potter’s wheel had been irregular. The shape revealed no particular thought: it was one of many. The work had been fast; the turning was rough, done with dirty hands; the throwing slipshod; the glaze had run over the foot. … The kiln was a wretched affair; the firing careless. Sand had stuck to the pot. … Made for a purpose, made to do work. Sold to be used in everyday life. …
“The Tea masters liked the fine netting of crackle on Ido bowls… They found a charm when the glaze skipped in firing, and when a ‘landscape’ formed in the pattern of mended cracks. … [T]hey developed a high appreciation for the internal volume and curve of bowls; they looked to see how green tea settles into them. They were particular how the rims of bowls feel to the lips… By whose hands was that remarkable beauty produced, to be later discovered by the sharp eyes of men of Tea?”
– Sōetsu Yanagi, The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty
I learned that when I was a full time studio person that the only way you could be happy in studio was to deliberately incorporate change into your work, and that was the only thing that made full time studio work viable.
Watch this while it’s still available :)
It is very sensual stuff because it’s gloopy. And slithery. And of course it warms to the touch as you mold it.
Had the opportunity to visit the Ourika mountains this week (outside of Marrakech, Morocco). Besides of the nice scenery we passed by a lot of potteries, and other craft shops run by the Berber people :)