Why are you interested in ceramics now?

Sitting in a certain hospitable coffeehouse this afternoon, I couldn't help eavesdropping Harriet the Spy-like on the threesome of artists sitting at the table over my right shoulder. After chitchatting for an hour about upcoming travel and past residencies in various European countries, and the threats of said places to car mirrors and introverted personalities, and discussing the layouts of gallery shows and other people's little studios, they finally got to the heart of things.

A 19th C white porcelain water dropper from the British Museum
See more of their ceramics collection online at http://bit.ly/WaryO4

The guy (a painter, I believe) was discussing his new project and explaining how he could only work on it at certain times because he didn't want to be observed making decisions by grad students. The female ceramicist with the plummy accent countered with a question about this new project. "Why? I mean, why are you interested in ceramics? Now?" He did not have anything very coherent for an answer, so she continued to explain how she had actually be "rather offended, really" when he'd asked her for a recommendation of a book that would help him learn ceramics. He apologized without really seeming to understand what might have offended her, then explained how ceramics really hadn't been his idea at all but a challenge presented to him by someone else.

Then she asked him rather pointedly about what ceramics he liked, and he admitted that he'd never really looked at ceramics thoughtfully or critically, or at all really, it seemed. (One guessed that this included her ceramics, too, which did little to dispel the tension.) She proceeded to quiz him on the ceramics displays in famous museum collections in the cities to which they had earlier discussed traveling. He made non-committal noises. After that the conversation got rather technical, though her admonition that an artist needed to learn by doing rang clearly. Finally, with a kind of understated serpent coolness, she told him, "I'm happy to. I'm happy to answer any questions you have," before holding forth on kiln temperatures, a topic about which the third member of the group, also a ceramicist, so quiet through all this, finally was able to find something to say.

Reading: 
My goal was to finish the Lurie and start something new, and the night is still, sort of, young.

Writing: 
Yes. Several pages of revision. Tomorrow is my last real day of writing before my big day structure and mapping on 1.1.13

Dinner: 
After a two-hour wait, veggie and pork empanada at Casa Nueva. Not the best Casa meal I have ever had. The Van Helsing Bloody Marys I had while waiting were, however, outstanding.

Soundtrack:
I think I listened to no music today, nor did any in my surrounds penetrate my consciousness. To be fair, I was very busy eavesdropping.

Random thing:
Do you know what an eggcorn is? Neither did I, until I came across it while trying to figure out how to spell querulous, and found a linguists discussion of quarrelous as an eggcorn of querulous. You can find more at the Eggcorn Database.

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