The Blog

Portraits and ponderings from the writing desk of Jill Foote-Hutton.

Jonathan Barnes at JFH Studio for FIRE FEST 09


This coming weekend is FIRE FEST in New Haven and I'm so proud to have the work of Jonathan Barnes available for display and sale! There will be glassblowing, raku and blacksmithing on Front Street. I wish we could have a wood kiln going showing how the work was made. His work shows how subtle wood firing can be, highlighted with a shino glow here and there. These mugs have a lyrical quality about them, the way they swell minutely with their freckled surface--they make me smile.

So Andy Brayman of The Matter Factory in KC, MO wrote an article about ceramics looking to its future instead of its past for inspiration, and allowing for the continuation of traditional forms. He simply ponders the collaborative quality, this is my interpretation, between the maker of the handmade form and the purchaser of the handmade form. I'm also reading a collection of essays right now, edited by Claire Bishop "Participation". The opening essays reference composers creating symphonies which may be pieced together measure by measure by the conductor. In this way the "maker" is collaborating with many audiences. The work is never the same with any conductor/collaborator. Now, I pursue the question of participation in my own work and I suspect it will be a long road before I arrive at a suitable answer, right now I think I'm just talking at people with my work and not really releasing it. But I shall persevere, sometimes I am a slow processor. Jonathan Barnes on the other hand is quick and a known technophile to me, he always has the latest and greatest gadgets and he loves a technical challenge. It's clear from the work shown, that Jonathan has tackled the past. His plates have even recently been featured in "500 Plates & Chargers". I think I would really like to see what he came up with if he was interested in the question of future forms and/or processes. I'm very curious to see how he would solve the problem. What do you say Jonathan?
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