Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pottery Thursday: Michael Simon

I got this pot as partial repayment from some money I loaned to a friend.  I think I came out ahead!

Not a great photo, but a wonderful piece, this is from  around 1989. 
My favorite potter ever is Michael Simon.  I had the good fortune to take a class with him for two months in the early '80s when I was a core student at Penland School of Crafts.  Basically we worked a lot and got to live there year round and take free classes.  It was a great deal and so wonderful being exposed to so many different artists.  

By far that class was the most memorable for me.  Something about the man, maybe his sincerity about the subject matter, and the magic he was able to do with clay and surface has had a lasting impression.  

I probably have more of his pots, than of any other potter.  They have been wonderful to use, and to contemplate all these years.  They never grow old, only more dear to me.  He has a show up right now at the Northern Clay Center in Minnesota.  Along with the exhibit, some of his old classmates got together and had a moderated conversation that has been taped, that is really worth watching when you have the time.  I watched it the other night, enjoyed it thoroughly, and I was brought right back to that time nearly 30 years ago, through his words, and the conversation they had together.  I highly recommend it.

I'll end with a photo from the exhibition and some of his words. 
According to ceramicist Michael Simon: "The cup is the most intimate of pottery forms.  Whether in the palm of the hand or the fingertips, we experience the weight and texture as we drink.  We pick it up without looking, kiss it with our lips and drink from it.  A good cup seems to hold the truth.  Every human culture has  developed cups..." 

1 comment:

Diane said...

I love his work too! I have one rectangular fish box from the mid 90's I think, that I got in San Francisco. I was sitting eating my lunch today and wondering what had happened to him as I don't see his pots available anymore. Thank goodness for the internet. Thanks for posting your thoughts.