S: Earth to Art The Pottery of Rich Claxton
BC: Published with love and gratitude by Marilyn Wolovick
FC: Earth to Art The Pottery of Rich Claxton
1: I remember an experience when I was five. It was winter. I woke up in my dark bedroom, and went halfway down the dark stairs. I looked out at something I had never seen before. The houses were all asleep with purple smoke rising from the chimneys into a cloud-filled sky; all glowing with reds, oranges, butter gold and lavender. Everything, even the chimney smoke was absolutely still. My heart swelled up and I held my breath. Everything stopped.
2: Then I heard my parents downstairs. I ran down into the warm yellow light of the kitchen. When I asked them was this day or night, they just hugged me and they laughed. As I grew up my father often called my attention to the sky. He took slides of sunsets especially. “Look at that sky!” he would say, “If you painted it like that no one would believe it!”
3: I think that we look through our own eyes but we learn to see by looking through the eyes of others.
6: I came late to clay. For what I get to see I owe a great deal of thanks to Bob Archambeau. He asked me to look at so many things; all kinds of pottery, as well as natural and man made objects of every description. Bob makes work with a generous strength and balance. His pieces have a quiet timeless presence and a deep integrity.
8: For myself, I began with the idea of the vessel as a reflection of the person. Both vessels and people hold ideas, feelings, and hope. We are made of clay, moulded by many forces and transformed by fire. I thought of surface and form enclosing space, of inner and outer experience. I am drawn to an aesthetic of “hidden beauty.” I am inspired by work in which I see the free movement of the body and the clay within the pool of gravity. I want a harmonious blending of energies.
10: Perhaps I could say that I want to make work that suggests that the universe favours life, favours us humans. I want the work to spark individual imagination - to draw vision and perception into a celebration of the world. I want the work to tell the story to our eyes and hands of how the mountains hold us and also change to bring our beloved morning coffee to our lips.
14: For me making pieces is something like fishing... I have an idea that is swimming under the surface and so I cast in my line. What I catch is never quite what I anticipate - as air, fire, and materials all have their own say. Sometimes the piece is better than what I could have imagined. It’s not something I did; it’s a real gift to me - like a tree or a leaf or a grayling.
21: I continue trying to make objects to hold dreams and desires: objects that I hope have a kind of life and spirit of their own.