The cusp: a potter at her wheel, wood turner at his bench, weaver and loom, blacksmith and forge, fiddler and fiddle, glass-maker and fire, writer and page. Craft communities are small heavens open to ordinary and extraordinary people.
As I prepare to teach Crafting Words at the J. C. Campbell Folk School (Aug. 22 – 24) I am drawn to what unites artists. How does a poet meet a photographer? With awe and respect. We share ideals: perseverance, attentiveness, desire, delight, despair, communication, and the ability to acknowledge the muse and at times, let her have her way.
Artisans are stopped by the awe of weave, center, turn, piece, and color in their work. Writers are too. All crafters share tools: line, rhythm, form, articulation, color, content, rhythm and melody. I mean melody! You don’t have to have a dulcimer to sing. I have known clay pots sing to me, turned bowls call my name (oh, so quiet they are), a shawl at the Folk Art Center swayed my way once. How can I leave them behind? I carry their song to the page. Poet means ‘maker.’ Our craft is wordsmithing.
The Poet Dreaming In The Artist’s House: Contemporary Poems about Visual Art, published by Milkweed Editions in 1984, is a romp of poems written by observers from Florence, Italy, to Chicago. Writers enter the artist’s realm, hook, line and sink there. “We make a difference in what we see,” suggest editors Emilie Buchwald and Ruth Roston.
There is a long tradition of literary pictorialism. Add your name to the list. There are no lack of museums, galleries, shops, dentist’s offices, restaurants, or studios where you will be welcome to observe and respond.
Register for Carol’s Weekend class on our website, August 22 – 24, 2014
Carol Pearce Bjorlie Check out my blog