Monday, August 1, 2011


In these days of e-books, kindles and closing book stores, a real book in the hand is still a wonderful thing, and MICHAEL SIMON: EVOLUTION is a wonderful book. With a forward by Warren MacKenzie and commentary regarding the pottery by Michael, this is an insightful and well illustrated narrative about a potter’s life in pots and the decisions made along a lifetime. From his thrown and altered “Persian boxes” to his utilitarian pitchers, bowls, plates and vases, the glimpse into the evolution of a potter is related.

One of Michael Simon’s comments about Warren MacKenzie is vivid and I think many potters can relate to; “I still hear him [Warren] in my brain, and I still think about him whenever I have to make a decision. He is my touchstone, he is the figure that I think through. He was very important to me. I didn’t know it at the time; really I wasn’t conscious at the time of Warren’s value.” It is this personal observation and thought that most potters and craftsman can understand but Simon’s articulation is simple and to the point. The commentary and observations made by him reflect his pursuit of the personal and this alone makes this a book well worth owning. I recommend this book without any reservations for potters, collectors and those interested in the evolution of a personal process.

Illustrated along with the book, MICHAEL SIMON: EVOLUTION; is a small salt fired Persian box form by Simon. It was thrown and altered in such a formulaic method that only he could have achieved. It was decorated and the kiln did the rest. On the lid of the pot are three spots where wads were placed around the decorated “spot” which adds to the surface and gives one a perspective of how the pot was fired and how it stood as a pedestal for another, smaller pot. In my mind, this is a metaphor, as Simon’s pots will stand as a pedestal for generations to come.

“The merit of originality is not novelty, it is sincerity.” Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

No comments:

Post a Comment