On Dec. 11, 2011 Malcolm Davis died.
When NCECA had it's convention in Philadelphia, Malcolm Davis gave the closing speech. It was a wonderful and moving speech. Pretty funny in parts, - someone when introduced to him said, "Malcolm Davis? I thought you were a glaze!" I guess all of us shino lovers do indeed have a Malcolm Shino glaze bucket in our studio. His carbon trapped pots have been inspirational.
I listened to the speech again when I heard of his death. Here's a more serious excerpt that speaks to the question of why we make pots:
"But my greatest personal struggle all these years has been to come to terms with the fact that I left the active struggle for social justice to make pots and dishes for the privileged, adding more clutter to the cosmic dump. Look at the mess we are in: wars in two foreign lands and the global was on terror; an economy in shambles; millions losing their jobs, homes, and health care. Corporate giants control the Congress and the Media. The fragile planet that we so dearly love and so greedily exploit shows signs of imminent demise.
And here we are playing in the mud. Why do we make pots? Why do we work in clay? Does it serve any useful social function? Is it merely self- indulgence? Egotism? Escapism? Privilege? Is our work with clay just selfish, useless, superfluous? Are we just fiddling while Rome burns? As I was preparing these remarks, news arrived about the escalating catastrophe in Haiti, making this conversation once again both urgent and inadequate."
He later responds:
"I continue to grapple with this question as I continue to make pots. I can do no other, for this journey for me was not so much a matter of choice, as of destiny. What we do with the clay, what we create with our hands, what we offer up from our spirits may not end racism or stop injustice, but it may just help keep our culture human."