Sunday, February 22, 2009

fong choo

I went to Fong Choo's workshop at red star studios a few weekends ago. Watching Fong work was an incredible experience, and I absorbed an immense amount of information from him. I find that a lot of potters want to be secretive with their glazes, recipies, and techniques sometimes, but Fong is very open. Almost every other thing he was doing was a new tidbit to use in studio. His candid attitude made the workshop very enjoyable. I even had someone ask me how I could sit watching one thing for so long(two days in a row even), but really I was learning so much that the time flew by.

He started many philisophical talks about what all of us in the room might do if we found someone had taken our works and had them mass-produced; taking less time and money, and selling them for more. His attitude was that if someone started making "fong choo pots" that he would simply proceed onto the next thing, and leave the imitator in the dust. 

His attitude towards critique is also very genuine. He told us many times, "If you come into my studio, and tell me that my work sucks. I'm not going to tell you to get out, but ask why." He went through some of the gallery work at Red Star with us, and had an open critique about many pieces concerning spout placement, general shape, and lids of the teapots that were displayed. The workshop was not just a view into Fong's technique and way of working, but how he teaches as well. It was a very insightful experience, and I hope to study with Fong one day as his student, and not merely a looker-on.

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