Wednesday, December 12, 2018

the loss of appreciation of the arts and a tantrum

Last Sunday morning while we were waiting for someone, anyone, to come in, Chin (he has a longer name that is hard to pronounce and so he just goes by Chin), the classically trained in Japan ceramicist who makes beautiful elegant forms, and I were talking about the dearth of the arts in our culture. Most the people who buy his work are older, same for us. He also did the Saturday show in which the jeweler basically sold out but didn't do well, maybe sold two pieces. Our experience seems to be that anyone younger than 50 or so is not interested in art or even quality. They have been raised in the Mass Production of Cheap Goods from China Age with art mostly missing from school curriculum and museums no longer free and a government that doesn't really support the arts as important to our culture (as opposed to Japan, for instance, where artists are considered national treasures). Chin recounted a looker asking why his work was so expensive when you could buy the same thing from Walmart to which Chin replied that the guy should go get it at Walmart. There is no appreciation for handmade or quality. One of the reason galleries are dying...the older folk have all they need or want and the younger folk aren't buying. And it's not that they aren't spending bundles of money, they do, but they spend it on $1,000 phones that they'll replace in a year or hundreds for a pair of shoes with a name that will wear out in about a year but a piece of art that will grace their home with beauty forever they aren't interested in. And art isn't the only fatality of this lack of appreciation for quality. I have read that many household goods manufacturers have stopped making their top of the line quality products because no one buys them anymore. For instance, washing machines that are worn out beyond repair after about 7 years now as opposed to the 30 year old machine that came with the house that we still use. We, as a nation, have fully embraced the throw-away culture.

And speaking of expensive shoes, did you see the bit about Payless Shoes opening a pop-up store in a mall, Palessi, charging hundreds of dollars for the same shoes that normally cost about $50, and people bought them! Many people.

Well, once again I remind myself that I make this stuff because I enjoy making it and so I've made some progress in playing with this new technique, several line drawing of various feathers and 7 balls of modeling glass with two more colors, a lighter gray and opaque white (the white in the picture is white opal, also opaque but not as bright as opaque white) to mix up before I start rolling out some of this stuff to make the bases for a coupe of feathers and some squares to experiment with color mixtures and transparent powders over opaque colors.

yes, this is glass powder mixed with a binder and a liquid medium

We've been on a warming trend since the cold wet rainy weekend. I checked the rain gauge Monday and we got 5 1/2” between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. After two days of sun, it's overcast again and while it's supposed to get up to 70˚ today, tomorrow another cold front blows in. The weekend should be nice though, sunny and not too cold.

my peas are sprouting!

And did you see the Toddler in Chief threw a tantrum yesterday live on camera and in color, constantly interrupting the adults in the room and then stomped out after declaring he would be proud! to shut down the government if he doesn't get his way and then reportedly went into an adjacent room and threw a folder full of papers scattering them everywhere in his pique. It's going to be a bumpy two years, if he lasts that long. Here's some advice for want a wall, you promised a wall, you also promised Mexico would pay for it. You want the wall? Then keep the other part of your promise and get Mexico to pay for it. Other toddler news, he has decimated the Clean Water Act after boasting that our air (whose anti-pollution regulations have also been slashed) and water has never been cleaner. Perhaps so, but now not for long. More MAGA!

So as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, here's a picture of my silly dog trying to stand on her head.


  1. I have a good friend who makes the most beautiful ribbon art jewelry. She uses antique ribbon and sews each one by hand, many with antique crystals and beads. Some are made into pins. Some she sews onto clips for hair. And she has a very hard time selling these things- not because they aren't beautiful but because people see them and think, "Oh yeah, I can get that at Beall's for two bucks."
    Of course what they sell in the stores is nothing at all like the time-consuming works of art my friend makes. But people just don't even see the difference, much less have any idea how much work and art and talent have gone into them.
    So yeah. I do believe you have a very valid point.
    It's sad.
    I don't want to talk about Donald until we're all wondering which Federal prison he'll be living in. Wake me up when that discussion begins.
    Love you, Ellen.

  2. I'm pretty concerned about my job. As you know, we make quite high end (WEIRD) furniture - $10,000 for a sofa, for example - and our orders are way down. I'm actually worried about making payroll next week. Well, I worry about that every week. I keep hoping we'll see a big bump, but so far it's not looking good. Time to work on my resume again!

    Anyway, that Minnie is a hoot!

  3. If I remember...don't you stand on your head as part of Yoga? You can't blame that sweet dog for trying to be close to you. I am sad about the state of art, but it is also happening in my area. Artists are more prolific, and maybe that adds to it.

  4. When I retired, I wondered how my friends still "on the circuit" would get by. Less and less well, every year.

    1. You are so right about the differences in the generations. Our daughter and SIL had a set of Maytag washer/dryer. About six years old. Our Kenmore set was about 25 years old. No problems with ours at all. But, manufacturers cam out with brightly colored, front load, no central agitator, on pedestals, washer sets. My, my. They had to have that. What happened is--- they got the new ones. We got their "old ones". And our really old ones were donated to a neighbor of theirs. Guess what? No trouble with the two "old sets". But the new ones have been one issue after another! Yes to the constantly upgrading phones, too.

      Re the value of art: when I was teaching, one summer the district paid for me to attend a two week course at a university near here. It was wonderful. There were classes in art, music, drama. Really fun. When school started again,I told the dean that I was really excited about using some of the ideas from the course in my third-grade class. Her
      answer? Surely there was some way I could connect those things with the state test! No way it could be art for art's sake. Had to be tied to testing! This attitude has
      certainly affected the kids' lack of appreciation for art.

      About Drumpf, I just HOPE Nancy and Chuck stick to their guns. Those days the government is shut down will be days the Repugs won't be passing their mindless laws.
      Thank goodness things will change some come January.
      Thank you for being a voice of reason. Just wish it did not seem to be in the

  5. I think we're paying the price of not supporting art in schools. People lack a certain depth without an appreciation of creative skills and use of the creative part of the mind. I think the zombies have already arrived.

    I'm with Ellen. Put the Asshat behind bars where he belongs. What he's doing to this country is criminal enough.

  6. Oh, didn't you hear? The Toddler now claims that the new trade deal he is working out with the new Mexico president is so good, the money we will make off of it will pay for the wall, so in essence, that means Mexico is paying for the wall. The man drives me bananas.

  7. Still laughing at your dog, great shot!!!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.