Monday, December 12, 2011

21 Weeks and Counting

In 1984, Ceramic Showcase was in its second year and it was continuing to grow.  The community of potters known as the Oregon Potters Association had grown to 150 members by 1984.

Richard Rowland-
Best in Show 1984
In 1984 Best in Show was awarded to Richard Rowland.  I contacted Richard several weeks ago and asked if he would provide me with a little bit about himself and what inspires him to do what he does.  This is what Richard has to say on the subject -

"During the late 1970's I was naturally uncovering ways to create ceramics using organic materials like seaweed, ferns, dead birds, salt, integrating form, color and context-always finding unique relationships that created certain resonance and open atmosphere.  The Anagama process helped me continue developing the atmosphere that provided intimacy and a genuine way to connect community.  The community was made up of passionate and diverse people.  The rare model of diversity continues to grow.

In the late 1990's I started teaching at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon.  I was given the opportunity to go back to school to study, make art and received my MFA from University of Tasmania in 2005.  After studying abroad, I returned to my home in Astoria.  I started the Bowl Project with the Clatsop County Women's Resource Center and the Tillamook Women's Resource Center and I have continued making bowls for them for an annual fundraiser.  The women help collect and cut the wood, fire the kiln and take part in every part of the project.  With other potters and students we are focused on quality, making for example, 1000 bowls and picking the best 500 to give to the Women's Resource Center project.  The rest of the bowls and recycled into the hammermill and crushed up for grog to add to the new clay body for use the next year.  I have dug tons of local clay for this years bowl project.

I received the Oregon Governors Art Award in 2005, which was awarded for my work in the community.  I continue to work in projects related to utility and ritual that can benefit their needs.  Currently I am helping develop a Plain Tree model of holistic health care at Columbia Memorial Hospital.  This process includes art, both for the patients in the new Cancer Center and the rest of the hospital.

In the unfolding and integration of community and art, my vision is to match the character of the material process to the unique character of the community.  It is a wonder that I have been given my life's responsibility as an artist in such a way that is reciprocal in nature.  This accountability has encouraged me to build a second-generation Anagama kiln for the future."

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