Studiously interluded

“Studiously interluded”, meaning “to have a serious break”, or “to take a studio visit”. Or something like that…. (I don’t know. I just made it up. Another g00gle searchable internet first from yours truly!) “Studio interlude” just sounds so done before….

Man has it ever been a crazy last few weeks in my brain! Sometimes I get the feeling that all this wacky cogitation isn’t good for my health. I need to break free from the computer screen, I need to step away from the red hot furnace that is forging all these ideas, I need to go outside and smell the flowers, I need to limp on over to my studio and see if I remember how to throw a pot or two, and damn if I still don’t need to do my taxes…… What I need is to get studiously interluded. (Think it will catch on?)

And isn’t it true that this bombardment of meaty new blog posts has been a bit much for even my most ardent ‘fans’? Like I’ve ‘got it in for you’? Like I almost DARE you to still read my excursions into sanity (to insanity?)? Like this blog just can’t help but splatter the web with its dubious offerings?

Once upon a time my posts generated the most wonderful conversations, and much of my inevitable lengthy online rambling ended up in the comments sections. But without this tacked on feedback digression I guess I’m left no real option except to offer up each new mind blowing tangent as a brand new post. My apologies to all you ‘followers’ out there if this random seeming blathering clogs up your inbox, reader, or other following stream. My super apologies if it clogs up your attention span. Its just what I seem to do best….

So who on earth is still reading this drivel? I can’t decide if this blog is more a cartoon festival or a festoon carnival……(Yay me! Another Gillies Pottery g00gle searchable internet first! That appears to be the first time someone has used “festoon carnival” this way. Aren’t I clever!)

I sometimes like to keep track of where folks are finding my posts from, and since I’ve been on this frightful roll it seems that most of my traffic is from g00gle searchers rather than my ‘regular customers’. New folks seem to be wandering through CGPB for odd but interesting sounding things like “baby blue cone 10” yesterday, “pottery mouths” the day before, and “greek pottery common shapes chart” the day before that. I doubt they’re staying very long…. (If by any chance you wander back through and read this, I’d love to know if my blog helped you in your quest to resolve these issues!) {Maybe one day someone besides me will search out “festoon carnival” or “studiously interluded” and find this post!} [Ooh, ooh! And this one just today: “the war on carter the blog”. Now I’m seriously intrigued!].

The amazing thing is that w0rdpress is now also tracking the country of origin for clicks. This has been just fascinating! This was last week’s tally:

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 240
Canada FlagCanada 25
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 11
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 11
Ukraine FlagUkraine 3
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 3
Australia FlagAustralia 3
Portugal FlagPortugal 2
Mexico FlagMexico 2
Turkey FlagTurkey 2
Malta FlagMalta 2
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1
Guam FlagGuam 1
India FlagIndia 1
Estonia FlagEstonia 1
Poland FlagPoland 1

How cool is that!

But in other news, I have also been interluding (that’s a verb, isn’t it?) in my studio. These are some of the more recent things I have been working on:

I have high hopes for these bottle/vases!

Also experimenting with these squared shapes that are a bit bigger than my usual ones and also a bit more flared. They will get handles later today. Bakers or serving dishes, I suppose.

And just to prove to my students that I sometimes also throw on bats (despite what the rumors say….), see? Although I picked the square one straight off the wheel, I did leave this other one on a bat. Honest I did! I only sometimes put pots back on the bat to rethrow them after having first taken them off. And this bowl was not one of those times. I swear it….

Here they are with handles added and feet subtracted.

Handled but not yet backfilled.

Happy feet!

About Carter Gillies

I am an active potter and sometime pottery instructor who is fascinated by the philosophical side of making pots, teaching these skills, and issues of the artistic life in general. I seem to have a lot to say on this blog, but I don't insist that I'm right. I'm always trying to figure stuff out, and part of that involves admitting that I am almost always wrong in important ways. If you are up for it, please help me out by steering my thoughts in new and interesting directions. I always appreciate the challenge of learning what other people think.
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14 Responses to Studiously interluded

  1. I’m reading! The pots are looking good. What drivel are you speaking of, anyway. Keep on, man. “It’s all good.”

    • Thanks MK!

      Thanks for the feedback, and its good to know you are still out there!

      Sometimes I just get the feeling that the serious long-winded CGPB is falling ever more on deaf ears. It was easy to tell I was engaging at least some folks back when there were these awesome conversations following some of the posts. Now that that is no longer the case (and despite me trying to be challenging and provocative) I just can’t tell if all my efforts to seriously explore serious issues is just not meant for whatever audience has stumbled into my internet parlour.

      And so I occasionally resort to my dubious comedy act, like in this post. But I wonder if even these antics that split my sides with laughter have an effect on anyone else. Its just hard to tell in an echo chamber…..

      But from now on I’ll at least imagine that YOU are still out there reading! Thanks MK! I’ll keep on. I guess it IS all good!

  2. zygote says:

    I’m admitting to printing out many of your posts. They take a bit for me to digest and generally i need to read and reread at leisure to take it all in.
    I have no problems with that and prefer you keep up your rants. I’m learning a lot…

    • Oi!

      Joel, that is so incredibly cool to hear! I think that just reading what you said will allow me to never again question the value of all those long hours I spend thrashing through these issues. Scott Cooper and I discuss this sometimes, and it seems we both agree that if we have reached an audience of even one person with a meaningful interest in what we are saying, then we’ve done alright. I would never have guessed that someone found what I have to say interesting enough to commit to making paper copies. That is so unbelievably awesome! (I think I’m in shock!)

      Thank you Joel!!!!!!

      And thank you for being out there to bend an ear to my wild ramblings! I so want to believe that some of the things I am doing will make a difference. Even my throw away posts tend to have a nugget or two if you look closely enough. I’m just glad that the bigger picture I’m aiming at is something that has a bit of traction.

      So I guess that’s the word on whether I’m on the right path.

      Thank you again Joel!!

  3. barbaradonovan says:

    I’m reading. Just generally a lurker and somewhat comment impaired especially when busy with deadlines. Joel has a good idea about printing it out to read. I have a tendancy to lose my place and thus attention when reading long posts of anything on a computer screen. Might give that a try.

    • Thanks Barbara!

      Yeah, I’m all excited about Joel’s idea in my own world! I plan on never owning a kindle, and my dedication to paper copies should obviously extend to all this internet info. I have all these scattered bookmarks and folders of links to good articles. I even have a private blog where I hide secret rambles and copied links and posts. All that would be so much tidier printed out! I need to get that machine of mine back up and running…..

      Thanks for lurking! And thanks for the reminder that you are still out there listening in on my little excursions into the ramble zone!

      • Come on you guys!

        The last thing I need in my life is another stack of paper to keep organized, staple, file away, etc. I can definitely appreciate the desire to take the time to read good blog posts. But there are better ways to savor this content.

        I use an app called Instapaper. With the click of a button (a widget that you add to your browser) this app will save all the important content of any website and keep it for you in one place that you can return to later to read. You know, when you’re in a cozy place, away from the madding crowds.

        You can keep it forever (if it’s really that good) and archive it. Keep it in a folder called “Carter’s Most Clever Content” or something like that! It has an iPhone/iPod/iPad version as well that syncs all of your content so that you will always be up to date on all devices. One of its best features is that it only keeps the good stuff, the pictures and the writing, and leaves the rest ( pesky ads, extraneous widgets, etc.) out.

        Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s easier to read the printed page. Sometimes screens are small, hard to read, or most importantly, not near a big soft comfy chair! I find I use the iPad more and more to read and write, because I can take it anywhere and I’m not chained to my desk on a beautiful morning (I am sitting in a rocking chair on my porch, right now!)

        I hope this helps.

        Your Pottery Bloggery pal

  4. Sorry, bad link in my reply above. Here’s the link to the Instapaper app.

  5. barbaradonovan says:

    Well alright then Michael. When I have a ton of extra $ lying around doing nothing, I’ll get an Ipad:)

    My problem isn’t saving things to read for later. it’s being able to stay focused reading loooonnnngggg posts on a computer screen. I have trouble keeping my place and thus keeping attention. I find the phone too small to do much reading beyond checking e-mail. Paper is already taking over my life and haunting my dreams so no, this won’t be a habit, there will be no filing, and I promise to recycle when finished.

    (Thanks for the app link. Will be handy when that Ipad does materialize)

    • I wasnt telling anyone to go out an ipad. Please try Instapaper on your desktop computerI. I think you’ll find the reading “environment” free of distractions and helpful in reading.

      Meanwhile, save your coins and DO buy an iPad. You can get one for $300. It’s a few tanks of gas at today’s prices. 😉 it’s an amazing reading tool.

      • Scott Cooper says:

        I agree — Instapaper is great! Much better than a list of bookmarks or a bunch of perpetually open tabs, but also a big interface upgrade over something like I like how it has an archive feature, like Gmail, so you can get stuff out of the way but still have a reference for everything you’ve stored.

  6. Thanks for that Idea MK!

    I’d like to have a better tool for storing this stuff on the computer/internet somehow, and this sounds like the ticket! I’m investigating it now, so thanks for the heads up and the link!

    But I guess I still need to defend my interest in paper copies. From back in my school days when there were no such things as personal computers I made a habit of leaving my reactions to things written in the margins of books and handouts, and I probably kept the highlighter industry afloat all by myself. I even had it color coded to degrees of interest and connection to other topics. It may have been an organizational nightmare of folders and loose papers, but the interactivity on paper back then was a definite plus.

    I guess I’m so old school in this regard that until about a year ago I still did most of my blog drafts with a pencil and paper! Of course I have slowly learned to compose on a keyboard, but that one/two finger hunt and peck style puts the breaks on most of my whirlwind cogitation. Can’t beat the editing on a computer, but I’ve had to learn compositional pacing to an awkward speed. Ah, the new frontiers of technology! But I guess I like my electric potter’s wheel too, and its some of you guys that defend the lowtech treadle wheel against the incursions of industrial upgrades. Interesting parallel? Or not…..

    I guess I no longer need to be convinced of the benefits and importance of digital sophistication. But surely there is also still room for the allure and romance of pre-industrial and stone age technology? Will folks one day miss the experience of walking into a musty used bookstore, as fewer and fewer new books are printed? We can order used books from Amazon so easily that actual store fronts may one day become redundant. And then there is the e-book phenomena displacing actual printed copies. Will we someday no longer get the experience of tattered covers and worn pages, the stains of spilled coffee, the faint perfume of a loved one’s previous caresses?

    Its just interesting how the digital revolution has taken away some of the disorganization of media at the expense of its more human and personal qualities. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems we have traded for efficiency at the price of sterility. Isn’t that what some folks say about comparing electric and kick wheels too….? That electric wheels have no sense of touch….? No human rhythm…? That the electric wheel trades for efficiency at the expense of these more subtle human qualities….?


    • 😉
      You’re so romantic, Carter!

      Yes, I think something is definitey lost when something else is gained(or passively accepted). But I think romance will always live in people’s hearts. As we age,this generation/our generation may not understand/recognize the next gen romance. Romance will take on a different face.

      I’m grappling here, sorry.

      I guess what I mean to say is that subsequent generations will be nostalgic and romantic about different things. But romance and the sense of loss/nostalgia will be the same as its always been. Our human experience changes all the time. We as potters are seriously marginalized and rare in our contemporary culture. This doesn’t mean that what we do is of less value, but just the opposite. I think the people who support us recognize the value of the handmade, especially in these times.

      I’m not sure how this relates to the choices we make as to the tools we use to express ourselves. Do we equate per-industrial tools with authenticity, integrity because of some romantic ideal? Where do we draw the line of the authentic experience? The discovery of electricity? Do we think our lives are more complex than generations before us?

      I’d love to keep stabbing at this, but I should be potting! (i hear my boss calling) 😉 Maybe later after I’ve made some things will some of these ideas make sense to me. Working is meditation.

  7. Pingback: Clay Blog Review - April 2012 | Pottery Making Blog

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