I noticed that more Isaac Button videos appeared on YouTube:
This movie of Isaac get my mind cranking. Here's a bit more about Isaac and his pottery, courtesy of Grit in the Gears. In watching this extremely efficient and practiced potter not only turn that many pots but load and fire that huge kiln (did you see those kiln shelves?!!) with such ease, I can't help but think how machine-like our bodies and actions can become. On the one hand I would love to get to that level of craftsmanship, to master the clay and glaze like it was nothing at all to throw twenty pound jugs in two minutes flat. But on the other hand, I think about his speed to make pots was out of necessity as they were cheap wares for the everyman. That I can take a little extra time to add to what my pots are is a privilege and I should consider that more. If I'm going to take the time to make a pot (let alone pots at all), it better be damn good by my standards.
The other thing that comes to mind while watching these videos of a man working in a very old fashioned and obsolete way are some of the Garth Clarke essays. I'm thinking of one from a Studio Potter in which he criticizes the followers of Leach as miring themselves in nostalgia and not moving ceramics as an art forward. It's hard to watch these videos and feel the urge to live that Isaac Button kind of life. Perhaps that's exactly what Clarke is criticizing, i.e. it's kinda backwards to want to live make pottery strictly in a way that has expired from our culture. I don't know, I still want to make pots all day long regardless of the cultural relevance.
On a less deep and introspective note, I love that the pipe never leaves Isaac's mouth. Also, it's time I started wearing some button-up shirts and ties to the studio.