• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise
  • theatre and Concerrts

    November 30. Susan, Christine and I saw two of three new Italian plays at the Cherry Lane theatre. I actually thought I had booked the third offer which was a Pirandello revival but we were all glad that we did not miss “The Journey I Never made” and “Story of Love and Soccer”. Both excellently translated and powerfully acted. The first is a thought provoking and somewhat unsettling portrayal of the current social turmoil and the second is modern thriller about corrupt sport and the triumph of evil over good. We were able to chat with one of the actors about the plays after the show. Before the show we ate lobster and oysters at the  “Fish” restaurant which was only two blocks from the theatre!

     

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The Potter’s hand (detail)

I had been pleased with myself since I fired the clay of my “The Potter’s Hand” piece. Not that the work stood out in any way from that of the other students except that, what advantage they had in artistic sense, I made up for in superior engineering–a legacy of my woodworking days before apartment dwelling. The reference in the title is to Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam. Here are the relevant verses:

And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not :
And suddenly one more impatient cried—
‘ Who is the Potter, pray and who the Pot ?’

Then said another—‘Surely not in vain
“ My substance from the common Earth was ta’en,
‘That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
‘ Should stamp me back to common Earth again.’

None answer’d this ; but after Silence spake
A vessel of a more ungainly Make :
‘ They sneer at me for leaning all awry ;
‘What ! did the Hand then of the Potter shake ?’

Here are three views of the Hand (I used my own as a model) working on the rough clay without evident support:

However. My smugness disappeared the moment I first saw the incredible sculptures of Carl Milles in Sweden. He has engineered gravity-defying works beyond belief. Here is one of them in his sculpture garden in Stockholm: 

 

                                   

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One Response

  1. Your work is simply breathtaking, Ben. In my book, you’re just as brilliant as Carl Milles! Much love to you and Ethel, as you prepare for your next adventure. Have a wonderful trip! Bonnie

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