Wednesday, 13 June 2012

AAW, San Jose, Update

Just a quick update in that I was very pleased to find that the piece that I was invited to submit to the AAW POP exhibition in San Jose, California, was purchased during the exhibition.

This is a wonderful conclusion to the making of the piece as it which quite a task to get it to America.

The  first piece made and sent did not arrive it in one piece. Being close to the deadline meant I had to make a second. The pressure of working to a time scale which is always fraught with danger when making something that has so much of the maker in it induced further problems.

The result being that the form turned and for a second time textured I was not totally happy with, it was still good all the same and with the piece embodying impermanence I had to accept that I could in no way make an exact replica of the one before, the process of texturing does not lend itself to this so I decided to continue.

Anyway I decided to ring a friend up about the progress of the second piece and my thoughts as it is always good to talk to others as often they can give a unbiased view of the problem.

After the chat I decided that if I was not toally happy I would not submit the piece at all and may be try on another occassion. Not wanting to give up though I decided with the time ticking

Back to the lathe again, but this time more time spent on the form and then into the early hours of the morning texturing and colouring. However before starting I took some time out to sit and think about the situation and the pressure/deadline I was under. I laughed at the process of making a piece which embodied impermenace and Wabi-Sabi in which beauty comes from things that are not perfect.

This for me being why the piece is so special to me, albeit now with a new owner. Not only did the process take all of my self to get through, but the path both I and the piece took during this taxing but enjoyable process became far more that just a piece made to represent the philosophy of impermanace for an exhibition, it in the end embodied it. As such it is to date the most significant and important piece that I have produced.

A few pictures of the third piece being made.


chris hill said...

Hi Mark, sorry to hear the 1st 1 sent got damaged, pleased to see you got the replacement completed, great work speak soon cheers Chris

Philip Streeting said...

It was good to see the comments by the purchaser and it must be doubly satisfying knowing how much he appreciates both this piece and your work in general.

As far as the two disasters are concerned I thought it was a belief in turning that we hone our skill by using repetition!

Keep up the good work.


Mark said...

Hi Chris and Phil

Thanks for your comments.


It is fine that the 1st one was damaged, it happened due to the thin wall and the change in moisture level from the UK to the US, or at least that would seem to have been the reason. It is something that has to be accepted if things are sent out or made, at times they break.


Yes repetition is a way of honing our skills and I believe in this, but hopefully learning from the mistake helps too :-),hopefully I learn to rectify and not repeat the same mistakes over and over or I just become efficient at bad practice.

The main purpose of this post is that I often am asked by people that have taken up turning about various problems and disasters that they encounter. My reply is that many years of repetition is needed but things will still go wrong, through this thread I hope that people will see we all have disasters from time to time, they are just different disasters and without going through this process we cannot hope to develop.

On this occassion it paid off as the final piece was the best of them all.

Thank you both and take care.

George Foweraker said...

Well done Mark I am not a bit suprised

john smith said...

Hi Mark well done in getting your piece finished despite all the set backs and then someone purchasing it must have been the icing on the hollow form.Regards John

Mark said...

Hi John

Thank you for your comment. It was great to get finished and for it to be purchased. The set backs always happen when we do not want or need them to, but I learn more about the process when it goes wrong than when it goes right.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

Take care

Mark said...


Thanks mate. I was well pleased.