Tag Archives: Bernard Leach

With their bodies

We craftsmen, who have been called artist, have the whole world to draw upon for incentive beauty. It is difficult enough to keep one’s head in this maelstrom, to live truly and work sanely without that sustaining and steadying power of tradition, which guided all applied art in the past. In my own particular case […]

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Personality Crisis

And you’re a prima ballerina on a Spring afternoon Change on into the wolfman, howlin’ at the moon, hooowww All about that personality crisis you got it while it was hot But now frustration and heartache is what you got Now with all the crossin’ fingers that mother nature says Your mirrors get jammed up […]

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Reading Josiah Wedgwood

One of the most easily predictable things about late nineteenth/early twentieth century writing is the consistent call to dead white men for authority. In Herbert Read’s case, the two major figures he summons are Josiah Wedgwood and William Morris. Morris, I have some familiarity with; Wedgwood was more of a mystery to me so I did […]

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The work of craft in the age of mechanical reproduction

The art of the craftsman, to use Herbert Read’s terminology, is intuitive and humanistic (one hand one brain); that of the designer for reduplication, rational, abstract and tectonic, the work of the engineer or the constructor rather than that of the ‘artist’. Each method has its own aesthetic significance. Examples of both can be good […]

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The Nature & Aesthetics of Design

In 1964, David Pye published his second book, a slightly longer (91 page) volume called The Nature of Design. I haven’t tracked an original down to look at it, though I’m curious about the differences between the original and revised edition. There are references to computers in the revised edition that I’m sure probably weren’t […]

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a civilization ‘outside in’

The art forms of a community are the crystallizations of its culture (which may indeed be a different thing from its civilization), and pottery traditions art no exception to the rule. In the T’ang period it is not difficult to recognize the Chinese genius for synthesis, here reinterpreting Greek and Buddhist ideology in terms of […]

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