Monday, February 1, 2010
An artistic decision
Here is an example of the addition of a slice of agate to the lid of a large clay vessel in oxidation glaze fired to cone 6. By installing the slice atop the piece, I can let the light show off the stone so that the work holds the stone up to the light. This way I am able to celebrate not only my manipulation of the clay body, the silica and the other natural oxieds which make the piece a "pot" but I can also acknowledge that God has made the earth from which the elements come and God has made the hands which have made the pot.
Some church musicians will sign their work "deo gloria" or some other term which celebrates that the glory goes not to the artist but to the God who made the artist, his or her tools, his or her elements and his or her hands and brain. Am I an artist who "made these things" or am I an artist who simply took materilas and re-ordered them - thereby celebrating the CREATOR, the elements of the creation and the creator or "artist"? I think the latter.
artist (from etymology on line)
1580s, "one who cultivates one of the fine arts," from M.Fr. artiste (14c.), from It. artista, from M.L. artista, from L. ars (see art (n.)). Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for "one skilled in any art or craft" (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of "one who practices the arts of design or visual arts" (a sense first attested 1747).