Rediscovery #14

I have been packing and finding many interesting things I forgot I had. This little booklet was given to me on the evening of the last wood kiln firing I was involved in at Sheridan. It was found in one of the pockets of my winter coat the other day when I started packing.

Here is a short clip of a small earthenware bowl that I fired in the kiln flue.

Somewhere I read…

I would like to share these three videos of Martin Luther King Jr.

I Am A Man

“I’ve been to the Mountaintop” (excerpt)

“I Have A Dream” (full text of speech below)

Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have A Dream – Address at March on Washington
August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

The Beauty and Power of Photography

“I am the cause, I am the stockpile of chemical toys,
my body is a deadly gadget,
I reach out in love, my hands are guns,
my good intentions are completely lethal.”
– Margaret Atwood (excerpted form “It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers”) 

This quote may be more relevant to my previous post that I keep on fussing with.
Now for the photography part:
Here are some interesting pics and a great video. It illustrates the loss of time for reflection or the need for reflection in choosing what we shoot or make.


Daguerreotype’s within daguerreotype’s early pomo?

Watch this video to see a contemporary use of the daguerreotype technique of photography from start to finish. My apologies to iPhone users this is a flash video.

Making of Daguerreotype by Takashi Arai from Takashi Arai on Vimeo.

Just look closer, It’s easy to trace

I have an exciting evening and weekend of packing ahead of me. It’s time to listen to some Motown. This is one of Smokey Robinson’s best songs. I will be moving to Toronto on Wednesday.
  There is a big mayoral election in Toronto this fall. Few people who know me are aware that I have an interest in politics (hahaha). Some issues are too personal or divisive to discuss on some blogs. I have tried to keep my blog separate from politics, it’s difficult but I have been fairly successful at it. The way this race seems to be turning out may make it difficult. The two front runners seem a bit frightening to me. The mantra of cut this and cut that is boring and the wake it leaves behind can be dreadful. Often one of the first areas to face cuts are Arts and Culture and I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch Toronto’s vibrant Arts and Cultural sectors be torn to shreds.   
  Anyway I would like to post a few links to some websites that have examples of surface decoration. I have posted some before in other posts.

The Track of my’ Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Rediscover me

The wonderful things that can be found upon a second look are often amazing. We should all embrace these opportunities in life to take and give second chances. The associations of the first instance inform and enrich the rediscovery. Reviewing the stories of our past can lead to the beginning of a new journey. Reclaiming what was lost or replacing old experiences with a fresh reinterpretation. These plates have some of each of those concepts in them. Taking dated styles and designs and updating them with humour can be worthwhile. Though you may argue the results are questionable. Have these plates for example just become more clutter in our excessive production of pop culture ephemera. It’s a

question I often think about when I make something and hope what I make is something meaningful in some small way.

You can find her etsy shop here at this link

The image above is from Knack Studios I found these websites from the a plate a day blog

Figure, Function and Form

Questionable imagery!

I have been considering the use of figurative painting in and on my ceramics for a few months. Well for at least a year to be completely honest. The question of why and how hasn’t been satisfactorily answered. Should the form relate to the content? Can any form be a blank canvas for any surface or imagery? Should the imagery or form be challenging or pleasing for the viewer/user? I’m generally inclined to pursue these question on tile instead bowls or pitchers. Forms often dictate what chat can be placed on the surface. The placement and type of imagery most often should suit the form. Work can easily look silly or clumsy if the problem isn’t addressed correctly…

Say Cheese, Happy Birthday!

My family got together to celebrate my brother Adam’s birthday. When I visit Adam I often spend most of my time with my camera taking pictures. My nephew Grady now associates me with cameras and when he sees me he will yell my name and hold his hands up to his face as if he is holding a camera. Well now he also says cheese when he says my name. He ran off and
grabbed this single use camera that had no film in it and was pretending to photograph me. He is a lot of fun to play with. Playing usually involves chasing him around the house and crashing toy cars. There were too many people over to spend much time playing with Grady and I also wanted to spend some time with my niece Isabella. Here is a picture of her with my Mom. She is very quiet right now which is nice the last time I saw her she was crying most of the time. The last picture is Adam with Grady.