Wali Hawes 1952 - 2014
                          pottery and more!

Wali Hawes Potter's Diary

The Price and Morality of Art


                                         The Price and Morality of Art

"Well, Flo. How are you then?  Don't see you that often these days and how's old Stan?"

"Not too good I'm afraid!. The old veins have really begun to play up. I've seen Dr. Patel abbout it. Dr.Patel has given us some pills but you know how it is, you start taking 'em but after a few days it gets too much.....What wiv the stuff I've got to take for me blood pressure and for this 'orrible cold that's been pestering me-Oh it's all too bleedin' much!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean duck. Only the other day Renee told me that her veins hadn't improved at all and she's been on medication and doin' treatment for donkey's 'ears. Sez she sees a specilaist at The North Mid!" Probably only interested in her legs!!!!"

"Flo' get out of it! Well, actually Doris that's not all!.

"Don't tell me it's the back again!??" Not after all the problems you 'ad with after that dunnowot exhibition where you work. If it's to do with that I'd chuck in the job. Give 'em notice! No, don't even bother. Just leave!" "That's wot i'd do!"

"Yer right but you know how it is. We need the money and the job ain't that bad really. It's just every now and then you get these special types that do all sorts of things. Experimental is wot they call it! You should 'ave seen the mess! I was down on my 'ands and knees all bloody morning clearing away the stuff. They even got it down the sink! Couldn't make misself a decent cuppa tea. "Ad to call in trhe pumbers!"

"Get out of it! You must be joking!"

"No. really!. You know what they did? You've got to laugh-but it ain't that funny if you're in my shoes. They had this "Tofomusho' or summit like that and he just threw clay (muck if you ask me!) all over the place. They 'ad all the walls, the light fittings, the doors, even the handles-well Blimey-everything! It were a right mess! The Guv told me it was an interaction between the developing spirit, coupled wiv the dialectic process of the incumbent in his constant awareness/unawareness matrix that manifests in God knows what. Next they will be tellin me it has summit to do with a teleological progress towards defined traditional constructs which serves as a reigning metaphor in a move towards self-referentiality.. I call it a right bloody cheek. Don't know 'ow I remembered all that claptrap. What a bleedin' nerve. He could just say "Sorry Flo we have a bit more work  for you but we'll give you a special rate. Not a bleedin' word. Sometimes they don't 'alf take liberties wiv you!"

"I woulddn't stand for it. My Bob always says we gotta stand up for ourselves and our rights or else they take liberties. Just the other day they had us on wire stripping and you know whata sod of a job that is. Anyway, Bert went down there and soon had us on special rates!"

"It's all right for you lot but where I am there's no such thing. I mean the time before they had these pots with branches and fruits stuck in 'em. All very well but a week later it 'ad all fallen orf-bound to weren't it!' The apples weren't too bad but the peaches got all squashed. I 'ad to say summit about it  and they came out with the usual dribble about allowing spatial experiences within the tendential framework to express deeply held convictions about pre-established relationships. And the thing that really got on my wick is that they never think of inviting you to the openings. I could knock back a sherry or two just like anyone of 'em!!!! I dunno if Stan would like it. Sez it's not his cuppa tea.  Our Sarah would love it though. You knw she 'as started pottery evening classes at The Montague Centre.?!!!"

"Oh Really? How's she doin' then? Old Mrs Jankovitch goes there too but says she's never said anything about seeing" your Sarah there."

"Well, Old Mrs Jankovitch goes with The Riverside Club. Sarah goes all other times. She says it's really good. She's only just started and some of the stuff she's brought 'ome has been great. Seeing she's just started like. Just the other day she came 'ome with a Teapot. It was grey. Quite smashing really-Oh, no pun intented!!!!! There was this strange bit though-the spout I mean. Dunno hard to describe it. I've got it put on the mantlepiece above the gas fire.

"Flo, I bet you must be really chuffed with what your Sarah can do at pottery!"

"Yes, it's really nice but I mean the Lizard Teapot was fine except it was difficult. I mean well, it was the first one really but this one she says you can't use for tea. So how can it be a teapot? It just looks like one???? I know you can have stuff around for decoration like them Shire 'Orses I picked up in the Green the other day. Then again no reason why it can't be wot takes your fancy. Cows pickled, pee holes in the snow.....Fire Trees".

"Get out of it Flo! You're pulling my leg. You have always been the one for inventing things. Just like when we were down at Mains in Sub-Assembly. The way you used to pull old Sid Poppin's legs. Poor Sid. But we did hava a laugh!"

"Well, some of the things Sarah tells me. She goes in for the evenings but during the day they've got this full time lot in. She says there's one bloke there who's making a car with movable parts. I mean to say the old Fiat is a bit knackered but still goes. Next thing they will be using cars as kilns and then wot! Sarah says you can do all sorts of things with clay Mum! I daresay. Eating it next like some yogi! But I wonder if any of those potter types can make a decent bowl! I mean you don't expect them all to churn out bowls or cups and sacucers but at least know summit about it. How about a carbowl????? (Peals of laughter!)

"Flo, You can't expect education to be wot it was like in our days. Your Sarah can draw-she can go to pottery classes. We never 'ad such an opportunity in our days. Now things are shall we say more open. At least that's what I saw on the telly the other day. Still, can't see much use for all this really. Also from wot some of the teachers were saying I suppose you 'ave to just wait and see.  Anyway, all these new fangled ideas, this talk about expression and what 'ave yow. It's all fragmentary. They all start from the wrong end of the stick! You get painters who can't draw (or paint) potters who can't pot and it goes on. How can you do anything if you don't deeply understand your materials and techniques-an artist looks to be complete. If he destroys it's because he creates. Blimey, if you don't know the basics, the fundamentals how can you really express yourself. Go in there Flo and start swabbing with the mop the wrong way 'round and then see what they say!"

"I dunno. I do know that me legs are killng me standing around prattling on about God knows what! I mean the other day I was round there, you know cleaning up after another one of those "experiences with the void"  and I didn't get paid the overtime I put in. At least I expect a better Christmas Box then last year and I 'ope it isn't another bleedin' teapot! Anyhow, talk about masochism! They get up to all sorts of madcap things. You know what I heard the other day. These blokes set themselves up in Morocco or some place like that with a huge grant no doubt they did. Went to all manner of trouble to make these Japanese style pots-Anglo-Oriental they call it, right in the middle of the desert. It was to 'elp change the wanderings of the Bedouins. Apart from the fact there woz no water to be 'ad they went to all this trouble to get it from some spring in the Pyrenees-it 'ad something to do with the ph balance. They then went about firng in a way using vast quantities of fuel-one firing would have kept a village going all year! Such my dear Doris is the price and morality of Art!





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