Sunday, September 24, 2006

Inspired by a kindred spirit

Every day we pour over more of my father's massive collection of Ceramics Monthly. I find myself rolling from intimidated to inspired and overly critical to speechless. Its descriptions of techniques and personal articles from the artists themselves are an incredible source of education for me. Josh, my lover/boyfriend/everything, whatever suits you best was leaving to drive a car home from across the country for his sister, and I was looking for a few choice selections for his flight when I came across the February issue from 2002. In her article entitled, Expanding the Mystery, Gail Nichols tells the adventurous and philisophical story of her pursuit of a soda ice glaze. Having begun in engineering like me, I feel connected to her more than any friend or foe with which I can speak. She used high technology and research, including electron scan microscopes and of course the lovely miracle of hypotheses to increase the power of her artistic tools. She says:

"Science involves asking questions about natural phenomena and seeking answers that can be verified by experiment. Engineering is essentially practical problem solving. Both activities require curiosity and creative thinking, qualities also employed in the arts. But for some reason many potters are uncomfortable with using science and technology in their work. There is a fear that such approaches will destroy the 'mystery' of materials and process, and detract from the intuitive nature of an artist's work. In other words you can't be an artist and a scientist at the same time. Yet through my research I have found the exact opposite: the more knowledge I acquire, teh more the mystery expands and my artwork progresses."

I extend to her my deepest gratitude for her bravery, honesty, and sincere innovation. I will continue with this pursuit as long as life still finds its way into my hands. Because of women before me, my way is partially paved. Paved enough I've found, and I will not disappoint.

Please see the following links to learn more about this amazing artist, scientist, and friend of expansion:

peace in pieces,.,.

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