January 25, 2011

Simon Says

Dear Simon Says,
Why aren't there more references to pottery in contemporary music? I just think clay is such an important issue.


Dear Listening,
What are you talking about?  Modern music is riddled with ceramic allusions and has been for a long time.  Since I first heard Patsy Cline sing "Crazing" hardly a song lacks some sort of ceramic reference.    For example, I offer this short list:

Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away"
Naughty by Nature’s  "(Who's Down with ) O.P.P.  yeah Yunomi"
Clarence Carter's woodfire ballad “We Be Stoking”

Otis Redding’s “Sitting On A Box of The Clay”
Soulja Boy’s new release “Mean Mug”
Bob Marley’s “Got To Have Kayanite!”

Perhaps you just need to try listening with clay in your ears.


Dear Simon Says,

Despite my partners and my best efforts I am still having trouble “getting it up” if you know what I mean.  Do you have any suggestions?

-Laying Down on the Job.

Dear LDotJ,

I do have some suggestions.  Have you tried adding grog, or even sand?   Sometimes a little more grit can offer a lot of vertical strength.   It may be simply that your clay is too short.   I suggest you try playing with your ball clays, sometimes this can help a lot.  Some folks suggest hand-building is the quickest way to create a large erection, but if you ask me, I wouldn’t obsess about the size of your cylinder.  Belief that a large pot is a good pot is a complete phalusy.  

Check out this veiny cylinder by Dick Cooter
although not large I think this is a really fine upstanding piece
For a lot of men this can be a sensitive issue; I hope I wasn’t too hard on you.  Remember It takes all kinds; woodfire potters often need to fire with soft wood as well as hard wood.


Simon Levin is a regular contributor to Sawdust and Dirt. He lives and makes pots in Gresham, WI. When Simon is not making or firing pots, fighting fires, or caring for his lovely family, he is creating such wonders as WikiClay! To find out more about Simon Levin and his pottery go to woodfire.com. If you have questions for Simon he can be reached at simon@sawdustanddirt.com otherwise please leave comments for Simon here!