The remarkable Katara Amphitheater statue in Qatar (Photo – Duncan Davidson)
Tao synchronicity in the search
I was totally devoid of any ideas about what to blog on next (bloggers block), so rather than prolong my desktop transfixation with nothingness any longer, I asked for suggestions from an acquaintance who had just dropped by. His casual response was ….. ” how about solar kilns ” followed by “must avoid the devoid “, delivered in a robotic monotone. The first one didn’t grab my attention but the other remark had lightglobes popping (which isn’t really an appropriate metaphor any more now that ” green ” globes warm up slowly). The mention of void twice made me think – what would Google Image find if I asked it to look in the Void for pottery images? As the Void concept was popular with Taoists I presented the Taoist statement ” No man is poor except the one without Knowledge” and ” Pottery ” to the ” Google Oracle “. Expecting the response to be – Your search – did not match any image results – I was instead confronted with a whole page of images, some pertinent to the subject at hand. Here is what came up :
‘Se player’, Han dynasty – 206 B.C.–220 A.D. ( Met, NY )
Bat Trang Ceramic village, Vietnam
Raven Watch – One Clay Bead ( etsy )
via.thought patterns – Tina Tarnoff
One Clay Bead
Seated Musician, Tang dynasty (618–906)
Marble Statue ( Met NY )
Belt plaque, Tang dynasty (618–906)
( Met NY )
Contemplating the void
Janet Mansfield “tea bowl “
Bulldog Pottery vases
This image came from Quotes and Musings Blogspot where Beth Cioffoletti remarked :
Mingei pottery reminds me of contemplativeness. Emptiness and the slow, easy turning toward simplicity and the ordinary.
The right in front of me. Standing still. Taking the time to look, see, be filled.
Below are some quotes about Mingei potter, Kanjiro Kawai (1890-1966)
In the wake of the great tide of industrialism in the early part of this century, something of the human touch and spirit was lost in everyday articles of use. Several Japanese potters sought to counteract the desire for cheap, mass-produced products by pointing to the works of ordinary craftsmen that spoke to the spiritual and practical needs of life.
“When you become so absorbed in your work that beauty flows naturally then your work truly becomes a work of art,” he wrote in an essay titled “We Do Not Work Alone.” He continued, “Everything that is, is not. Everything is, yet at the same time, nothing is. I myself am the emptiest of all.”
In a Western sense this would most likely be perceived as a negative and pitiful comment, but in the East it is often the emptiness and the silence that are most important. Only when something is empty can it be filled. Kawai filled his spirit and works with tariki. The somewhat eccentric Kawai was an extraordinary being, like an elf working alone late into the night; many of his pieces are full of a beauty and mystery that one can only describe as otherworldliness. (Googoracle was on the right track )
Mexican Ceramic Frying Pan
Michael Kline – NC
Dargle Valley pottery
Red Column and Black Dome by David Nash
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Maulvi Omar from the suburbs of Lahore.
He has been practising the art of clay work for the last 40 years and has experimented and excelled in different types of pottery including chalk handicraft, stone crafts and earthenware.
The motif looks voidish.
The spoils from an opp-shop – ( littleowlski.wordpress )
Four footed Mid-Century mugs with Zenish minimalism
Jadeite Pectoral from the Mayan Classic period
Vintage Mexican pots
The ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery – Ireland
An awesome tower. ( benedante.blogspot )
Japara – the moon man, earthenware, underglaze
Mark Virgil Puautjimi, Tiwi Design, 2006 ( Australia )
Haikun Ekaka, 1685-1768, was a Japanese Zen master, author of the famous koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping “. He did not begin to paint until he was in his 60s, but by the time he died he relied more on images to convey his teachings than words. Curiously, I considered dropping this quote into the search.
From an interview with Ryota Aoki at PingMag
” since about two years ago, I’ve been getting inspiration from the clay. I don’t want people to think I’ve cracked up, (laughs) but it’s true. When I touch the clay, I’ve noticed that I feel “Ah, I should do what the clay wants me to do.” I put it on the wheel and let it throw me around, I let it move me. It’s like I’m helping the materials become what they want to be. Just like Japanese cuisine where you help the ingredients themselves to shine. ” ( abandoning the notion of doership )
Simple yet organic lines – Ryota Aoki
White porcelain cups – Ryota Aoki
Vases – Catherine Gray
” Hood ” – Mark Hewitt
( via Omsablog )
the following writings came up on this blog ( the Googoracle poignant here )
But the hollow space in them makes the essence of the pot
And the essence comes from an intangible something
In the spirit of the potter
Which he is able to blend
into all his knowledge of throwing, the glazing and the firing
So that every piece from his hand
is as much his own signature and his heartbeat
Only then will the pot be good, that is alive
And the more highly developed a potter is as a human being,
the better his pot
For there is no real beauty without character.
~ Lao Tzu
Voidish atrium ceiling
A sculpture from the Museum of Islamic Art, which sits on its own man made island built by the Emir just off Al Corniche in Doha.
Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi
Newgrange , Ireland -3100 and 2900 BC
An Ancient Temple of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance.
This witch bottle ( 1650 ) is a very old spell device, usually a salt glazed vessel.. Its purpose is to draw in and trap any harmful intentions directed at its owner.
Iznik Pottery from Turkey
Stone Circle in Aberdeenshire
Constructed sometime around 2500 B.C., Loanhead of Daviot ( Scotland ) is a recumbent stone circle comprised of a large recumbent stone and
two stones flanking the recumbent stone, and eight other stones in a circle.
‘They Fight, They Fail (Six Hours of a Long Day)’ – Mark-Messersmith
Maximunist Naturalist exhibition at Ogden Museum
The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish burned all available Mayan books, thereby suppressing nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology’s fiercest challenges.
Copan Carved Vessel
Archaeologists uncovered this ceramic journey vessel from the tomb of the founder of the Copan dynasty, “Radiant First Quetzal Macaw.”
MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibition – Penn Museum
4 Faces – Picasso Ceramic
( Leicester Museum and Galleries )
George E. Ohr
‘Daffie Days’ – Bruce Gholson
Empty your cup :
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.
The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.
“It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted.
“You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”