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Early Spring

locally dug stoneware clay

…sometimes early spring can be pretty dry & windy in Northern New Mexico. It’s a good time to drive up toward Chama & find some more stoneware clay – easy enough to dig and, in arid weather, simply pass through a series of screens to remove rocks. “A potter is kind of like a farmer,” one of my clay mentors said to me a few years ago, and, returning to the source, up here, digging, having waited till the weather is right for what I want to do…I see that.

Pagosa Springs Colorado

…once in the truck & this far north…why not go to Colorado for a couple days? I was thinking more about that, being a potter, a farmer. To what extent do you make what you’re making & to what extent do you try to prepare the conditions & see what results? As the weather changes. I never quite believe those who claim it’s totally the former. I was thinking about things like that as I drove. The snow was melting. Winter was almost over.

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…then when I got back, I got back to work. I loaded the kiln – to what extent should you be making work other people might need or like, and to what extent do you make work you yourself have already ascribed a value to, before it’s even completed, since you had to make it? 

Today at lunch I read in the current New Yorker that Aretha Franklin – still – makes sure to collect her money before-hand in hundred-dollar bills & she puts these in her handbag. She puts her handbag on the piano where she can see it while she sings…ever since I read that fact I’ve been thinking about it.

Something every artist should meditate on.

Respect is as precise an artifact as a Ming vase,” David Remnick goes on to say in that article about her.