Thursday, 1 October 2009


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  1. you are a fuqueing AWESOME potter, and where is RDM these days?

  2. Very nice. I have always held you in semi-awe for being able to do this. I have a few pieces I have purchased (could hardly make them, you know) from my neighbors of the American Indian persuasion who make them, and other stuff, for a living. Along the way they have told me that tho' they and their ancestors have been at it thousands of years (so they claim) they have never done it with a potter's wheel - always use the tedious "rope" method. I think I know what that is, but not really sure - and unwilling to ask (since I really HATE to have Native Americans rolling their eyes at me, being of the superior European persuasion, ancestry-wise, myself.) But I do note a lot of their stuff is unglazed and decorated by digging out the clay with various instruments. This is not unattractive - I will post a picture or two of what I mean on my blog for your judgment. They do charge quite a lot for this picking and gouging of the clay, however.

    An old lady named Maria, a San Ildefonso Pueblo lady up the Interstate from me, used to make the most delightful black on black pots. She would fire them in her adobe kiln and, at the proper time, deprive them of oxygen and, voila, black they came out. Then, the designing, and more playing around and it slowly became valuable to tourists, she found. She is not with us any longer. But her pots are.

    I do like yours. I like the shiny ones. Someday I will try my hand (or perhaps feet) at it.

    Thank you for your pictures. Perhaps I am in true awe and not just semi.

  3. PS - You gouge pretty good yourself. :)

  4. I forgot to tell you, I came across a new "farm" of those "windmills" that are supposed to make electricity. This was yesterday over in Arizona. Exceedingly far out in the sticks. They were turning pretty fast, maybe 10 or 15 RPM I would judge. I guess they don't really ever turn fast enough to blur. There were about 5 rows of them. Weren't there the last time I passed by that area a year ago or so. I tried to take a picture for you, but it probably came out too small since I was not about to hike back up there on the mesa and leave my air conditioned car that long just to impress you. I remember you standing up on one in a previous "me" picture on your blog before the jeep. Or land rover. Or whatever it is. I did think to take them at pretty high resolution, so maybe I can blow it up enough for you to see.

  5. Max: That would be Maria Martinez perhaps? of San Ildefonso Pueblo?
    Maybe not, but she's the one who springs to mind.
    It's a strange thing that the wheel, in its many forms, was never embraced by any native american cultures before the europeans came.
    However, the handbuilding of pots works just fine for them.
    Although they don't use glazes, there are various liquid decoctions of boiled beans and god knows what else used to seal the pores.
    Pots used for water storage tend to be left somewhat porous, as evaporation from the surface cools them, acts as a natural refrigerator.

    As for those windmills, you have it all wrong. They USE electricity, and, by spinning, generate wind. Without them, the world would be even hotter, flags would always hang limply, sailboats would not move. Thousands of windmills are needed to power a single tornado.
    Your tax dollars pay for them.

  6. :) I never knew that about the windmills. Makes sense now. Especially the part about the government paying.

    Yes, she married a Martinez. (Many of the Pueblo Indians have Spanish surnames, from the Spanish conquest of many years ago.) He was a potter too. They tried to copy really old pottery (and ancient techniques) found in archeological digs. But she perfected her own unique style of course. Her stuff is even more collectible now that she has passed. I didn't know her personally, but have had some dealings with some of her students. Some of the painting (on some Indian pottery)and scoring are pretty intricate. All the ones I have are dull, though. Obviously they do glaze many now. Probably those are in the higher priced shops that don't let riff raff like me inside.


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