Harry Levenstein | Episode 837

Harry Levenstein is a potter now functioning in the southern Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Harry is the ceramics lab tech at the Bard Higher education at Simon’s Rock where he also teaches and maintains his personal studio apply.


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How would you outline a maker’s philosophy?

I guess the initially factor that comes to thoughts is values, their values all-around what the matters that they are building are. Do you indicate my philosophy or just in normal, a maker’s philosophy?

I would like you to respond to whatsoever way you want to go. I feel which is a excellent solution to the problem, owning a set of values. How is that distinct from just owning a superior perform ethic?

I imagine there is a amount of discernment between just getting robust function ethic and obtaining robust values all-around what you are producing.

Do you have a foundational notion that would build your other values off of?

I consider so. I suppose it’s fluid it’s possible and some points spin from specific ideas and leave some others at the rear of, though others spring from  people and leave the other individuals behind. It feels like a fluid point.

So if you could set it into a one sentence how would you outline your foundational philosophy as a maker?

Woah! What a concern. My foundational philosophy, what it signifies to be a maker…I want to say that there has to be some kind of discontentment in just that is the fire for wanting to go on to often attempt and attempt to articulate or flesh out or determine out or learn a thing far more. If you find contentment then the lookup ends, I guess. There is a interval at the conclusion of that sentence. (laughter)

How does that bleed over into life outdoors of the studio?

Oh male, it’s so blurry. That line is so blurry. You are a potter and you know how ripe with metaphor the course of action is involved in making pottery, with life, you know.  They coincide with existence in so quite a few distinct techniques and so it’s tricky not to see that in the microcosms of the studio coming out into the day by day everyday living. You know, battle, check out again, conservation, economy, elegance, humility, all these issues and I feel super grateful about that, to have that to floor me. To have that in the studio to ground me in my life exterior of the studio since I do not know what would have taught me all people things if I did not have the studio to do that.

Do you see your philosophy coming in when you are educating the upcoming technology?

Male, training is hard. I have acquired so considerably in this one semester that I have taught the college students below and I sort of arrived in guns-a-blazing, pondering I was heading to be this teacher who had all this awareness to share and philosophies and values that I keep in my very own and have genuinely superior expectations of the kids and all this stuff. But I variety of definitely promptly recognized which is not the way and whatever built up model of a teacher I assumed I was not…it’s just a designed up edition, and what essentially is there is extremely substantially in the performs and a perform in progress with significantly to understand.

What’s your favourite kind to make and why?

Effectively the straightforward reply is that it usually is shifting. I get fired up about factors and keep thrilled for awhile and then it switches when I learn a thing new.  But I feel suitable now what I have been fired up about is this type that I just phone it jug vase mainly because I never genuinely know what to simply call it honestly, and it’s a tall form that could be found as a pitcher, it could be viewed as a vase, it could be just a pot, an object. It has dual take care of know-how. So a pulled manage and a strap tackle on the opposite side. There is potent English affect in that jug. But also the double manage factor arrived from this old fermenting crock that I observed in an antique shop and I imagined it was so funny to see a pot with a pulled manage on one particular aspect and a minor strap on the other.


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Instagram: @harrison_lev