Okay! I think there are two issues here. One is the poor quality of work passed off as ‘simple’ and the other is the aesthetic value of what I refer to as ‘pure work’. I have exhibited my work along side countless potters who have poorly made work…not only potters but other ‘accessories’ producers. There ARE people who have NO desire to make their work better. They just want to sell it as ‘handmade’. I also have had the distinct and heart warming pleasure to exhibit my pots with fellow craftspeople who strive for the sheer beauty of the materials and it form follows function aesthetic!
The woman referenced above is not about beauty and simplicity although that might be her “artist’s statement”.Some people will treat us like mushrooms (that is keep us in the dark and feed us s**t) just to market their work as ‘ fine’ or ‘simple’ or ‘exquisite’. When that is the GOAL not yet achieved. This person has a swanky studio because she works for the magazine industry or has family money. There is a quote from Hamada about it and I will look it up and post it here. This work is poorly made but exquisitely marketed. It is not different it is poorly made. The minimalist argument does NOT apply here because the individuals involved were not rubes trying to sell something, they were trying to imagine new applications for their ideas. There were all consummate artists invisioning new things. This woman’s work is shlock I have seen in hundreds of other booths at countless craft fairs. Quality is the operative word here.
Further, the ‘wabi sabi’ side of the equation does not apply here since the quality is inherent with the wabi sabi concept.
I could name at least a dozen potters, weavers painters and many others whose work would qualify and make the perfect argument for ‘the simple is exquisitely beautiful’ aesthetic. Check out my mentor woman Pat Burns’ work from Portland. I have pots of hers I would grab when the house was on fire! These pots embody grace, gentility, warmth and stillness which is NOT acquired in a few moments but in a decided path and a definite goal.
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