Move over Harry, there’s a new potter in town

14 Jan

and his name is George E. Ohr.  He is the subject of The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. I like that his middle initial and last name say Eeyore’s name.

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Now I was never much of an artist, but I always loved when art class got around to the pottery unit. I loved the way my hands had to get right into the clay in order to create something. Maybe that’s why I like knitting so much; I get direct contact with the medium and the message.

George Ohr was a boy who didn’t fit in with his family and so jumped at the chance to work for a friend in a pottery business. As soon as he began working with clay, George knew he had found an outlet for his creativity. The book is filled with period photographs of the man, his times, the unique pottery he created. The pottery itself is lovely, original, and in many cases, covered in stunningly lovely glazes.

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The man himself is quite intriguing too since his artwork brought him little attention during his lifetime. His appearance, behavior, and self promotion attracted more attention than his art.

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He didn’t sell many pots while he was alive, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his love. After his death, his work lay hidden away. When they were finally “discovered” in the 1970’s, they sold for thousands of dollars.

The book offers back matter on the Ohr- O’Keefe Museum, which houses many of Ohr’s pots and a page entitled “How to Look at  a Pot” which I found rather interesting. There is a page on how to make a pot, and a bibliography, too.

This is a quirky book about art for art’s sake and loving what you do.

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