Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, April 30, 2005

I felt the urge to post this delicious dessert.
It can be made more sophisticated by substituting a fruity Champaign for the Sprite and can easily be turned into a sweet for diabetics by using sugar-free Jell-O, soda and whipped topping.
Of course, the daring can experiment with other fruits and geletin flavors.
Get over any lingering grade school aversion you might have toward America's favorite geletin dessert and try this easy and delicious summer treat.

Orange Tangerine Parfait

1 box Orange Jell-O
3 Tangerines, sectioned and membranes peeled
1 Tsp Tangerine zest
1 cup hot Water
1 cup Sprite or other lemon cola
1 cup sweetened Whipping Cream

Dissolve Jell-O in the hot water.
Place Jell-O mixture in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Add the cup of Sprite blending into semi-set Jell-O mixture.
Return to fridge for 1 hour.
Add Tangerine sections and zest to firming mixture and return to fridge.
This mixture when set will have the consistency of tapioca.

In parfait glasses or goblets assemble Jell-O mixture in alternate layers with sweetened Whipping Cream with Jell-O as the first layer and Whipped Cream as the top layer.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Watching the President, Thursday evening in his 4th prime time television press conference since 2001, is a bit like watching a one-legged child, wearing a parents overlarge clothing, attempting to jump rope, wobbly on his foot and lost in excessive cloth.
A painfully scripted exercise, both for leader and led, that is, in its aftermath, predictably suffering the self-satisfied corporate media’s equally predictable judgments.
The Emperor is still naked while the court still pretends to see the invisible outfit.
To my lying eyes, the President failed to answer all questions put to him.
From the first question on polls to those dealing with the role of faith in politics, the strong Iraqi insurgency, the rise in terrorist acts to Bolton, Delay and Korea, the President ignored the thrust of each and substituted the same tired talking points that have dogged these subjects for months if not years.
The assembled press, of course, know that the President substituted talking-point-jibber-jabber for fresh information as they hear Mr. Bush speak nearly every day.
That the President selected to ignore these pertinent areas of inquiry becomes, of course, an element of the real news choosier media chooses not to mention.
Also unmentioned was the President’s utter discomfort throughout the sweltering hour in the East Room.
Eye blinks, stammers and hackneyed attempts at humor all defied corporate media descriptions of Mr. Bush as forceful.
Of course, some questions contained elements so embarrassing the President, all jargon and eye blinks aside, had to attempt some damage control:

Q-What do you think of Putin now that he has expressed a willingness to supply weapons to outlaw regimes?
A-On the issue of vehicle-mounted weaponry to Syria. We didn't appreciate that.

Other questions were handled with a windy ramble topped with a blatant mischaracterization:

Q-Within the next year you think you could have very substantial American withdrawal of troops?
A-I said we'd get them out, and
we've done that. In other words, the withdrawals that I said would happen have happened.

Got that folks?
The troops are home.
My favorite questions were those untranscribable moments that briefly returned the deer-in-headlights look to Mr. Bush’s eyes before his Manchurian Candidate conditioning kicked him back into down home president mode.
I guess I’m just left with an overwhelming impression of bold’s utter absence.

Modified Image: Reuters,
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Sealed with a Kiss

At the beginning of our cold, lonely summer, the good folks at Media Matters are reporting that a highly relevant aspect of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to Crawford has been almost completely ignored by the controlled big media.
The Agence France-Presse wire service reported on Monday:

A member of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's delegation was denied entry into the United States after authorities found he was on a government "watch" list...Homeland Security, in a routine check of the delegation passenger manifest, found that one traveller was on a government list meant to screen out possible terrorists...the State Department denied that person a visa and so they did not enter the country.

The Dallas Morning News (subscription required) confirmed the AFP story in a report published this morning:

A member of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's entourage was banned from the prince's trip to Dallas [Love Field]...A second person who did travel with the delegation to the United States merited "additional scrutiny but still qualified for a visa and arrived with the delegation."

The Dallas Morning News report ended with this facinating tidbit:

The Saudi crown prince arrived at Dallas Love Field on Saturday...His huge entourage traveled in five airplanes, a Boeing 777, Boeing 767, two Boeing 747s and an Airbus 340.

Neither of the two reports mentioned where the First Lady was stashed while the President cuddled with the notoriously misognistic (unless the females are freshly kidnapped and shackled in a harem) Saudi heir.

Slightly Modified Image: Reuters
Truth Delay'ed

Tom feels the love from the allegedly youthful cross-section.

Yesterday, landing on the Stepford channel, MSNBC, for just a few seconds, I had the great misfortune to watch one of that channel’s trademark former-underwear-model correspondents give a glowingly false impression of Congressman’s Tom Delay’s appearance during a staged Bush rally at the University of Texas.
The huggable reporter first tried to give the false impression that President Bush regularly speaks to unvetted cross-sections of the American people.
Yeah, and Jeff Gannon’s unmonitored time in the White House was spent doing research!
Since this University of Texas crowd was participating in one of the President’s doomed Private Account rallies, I think it is a fairly safe bet, supported by reams of prior documentation from similar rallies, that yesterday's Galveston crowd was thoroughly pre-vetted.
Indeed, a casual glance at the photo accompanying this post clearly identifies Leader Delay surrounded by other similarly porcine GOP types, all with that secure glow from a fresh probing.
Having established the Texan crowd as an allegedly impartial one, MSNBC’s latest gammon correspondent quickly moved onto the mystery meat of his no potato info snack, the crowd’s great love for embattled Leader Delay.
Why, people even yelled, “We love you Tom!”
Gosh, the tide has to be turning.
Or maybe our eager young cable star was told to express that sentiment from his 1,000+ mile distant vantage point?
Reuters correspondent Caren Bohan, refreshingly filing from Galveston, had this interesting fact:

The hand-picked audience of the president's supporters gave DeLay an enthusiastic welcome. Before Bush spoke, DeLay stood up and waved, drawing applause and some shouts of "We love you, Tom" and "Keep up the good work."

Yeah, there's nothing like a tide-turning wave of canned enthusiam!

Image: Reuters
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
"Do you still have Splash Day?"

The Washington Post reports the President's ad lib in Galveston this afternoon:

"I'm not saying whether I came or not on Splash Day. I'm just saying, 'Do you have Splash Day?'"

Golly, who's going to break the news to Abdullah?

Modified Image: International Male, Reuters
Jeff's Genesis

While the President and Crown Prince Abdullah take romantic hand-holding strolls through fields of Texas bluebonnets, Raw Story, this morning, has published a letter sent to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellen by Representative Conyers and Slaughter Monday afternoon.
The letter demands that McClellen identify the authority authorizing Gannon's access and that the Press Secretary resolve contradictions between the released Secret Service entry logs and previous White House attempts to minimize Gannon's most unusual access:

While your office and the White House have claimed Gannon was treated as just another reporter, the records we have obtained affirm that Gannon was granted access to the White House which appears to be unusual for any reporter...your office and "Mr. Gannon" have maintained that his access was sporadic...records show that Mr. "Gannon" was allowed access to the White House 38 times when no public press events occurred. He also spent hours in the White House both before and after press events took place. With whom did he meet on those occasions...Would you like to revise your claim that, "I don't involve myself in that process, it's handled at a staff level"?

Of course, all this is beneath the notice of the "major organs" who have previously and conveniently slotted the Gannon episode into the Press Office Eccentrics pigeonhole.

Image: Billmon
Monday, April 25, 2005
Bulldog Stamina At

Raw Story is presenting the Secret Service logs of Jeff Gannon's increasingly more curious and lengthy White House visits released in response to a Freedom of Information request by Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John Conyers (D-MI).
According to Raw Story:

Guckert made more than two dozen excursions to the White House when there were no scheduled briefings...On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing...In March, 2003, Guckert left the White House twice on days he had never checked in with the Secret Service...On several of these visits, Guckert either entered or exited by a different entry/exit point than his usual one. On one of these days, no briefing was held; on another, he checked in twice but failed to check out...Guckert sometimes stayed for an extended period of time before and after press conferences, particularly early in his tenure. This was especially common during his first few months, when he might be in the White House for as long as six hours.


Image: Google,
I remember we were in the park
Holding hands and you said to me
I'm the only thing you need
--Jennifer Lopez, Still Around

Image: Reuters
Sunday, April 24, 2005

As my British friends would say, I had a simply marvelous time at this year’s American Art Pottery Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio’s spectacular art deco Rockefeller Center precursor, the Neatherland Hilton hotel.
Newly elected Association President Patti Bourgeois, in remarks at this morning’s business meeting, reported the convention a success and Association membership on an upswing following a modest six-year decline.
Some members, at this morning’s meeting, expressed frustration with seemingly lackluster interest by Cincinnati’s general public despite relatively strong promotion of the convention and pottery sale in the local media.
Remedies were suggested including the creation of a general admission ticket to allow the public to attend convention lectures, the creation of educational lectures specifically geared for a general audience and particular marketing strategies geared toward increasing the American Art pottery’s decorative profile among younger people.

Wheatley lecturer Jim Graham

Wheatley Pottery lecturer and Washington DC resident Jim Graham mentioned, during his slide-beset lecture, that T. J. Wheatley donated two of his limoges pots to the Smithsonian Institution and stated that the nation’s attic holds “all [American art] pots in storage”.
Aside from an approach to the decorative arts arbiters at Martha Stewart Omnimedia and having Association representatives or literature available at the major annual art house auctions across the country, I feel that a modest AAPA crusade within the pages of it’s bimonthly magazine the Journal urging the Smithsonian and elected representatives to make the Institution’s stored American pottery collection available to the White House and Congress in a manner similar to the loan system in place with paintings and other decorative objects would do a great deal to increase American pottery’s public profile.
I can recall the Clinton’s had a large Dale Chihuly glass bowl on display in the Family Quarters during their residence in the White House but I cannot recall an elected official ever displaying one piece of America’s world-renowned pottery except for President Dwight D. Eisenhower who was presented with Rookwood elephant bookends in 1955 .
Aside from drinking in the many beautiful historic and modern pottery exhibits and renewing friendly acquaintances with tile dealers and authors Wendy Fowler and Sandy Harvey of Massachusetts and major Kenton Hills Porcelains collector and antique dealer Kendall Scally from Louisville, Kentucky, I was also pleased to speak with the authors of Kenton Hills Porcelains, The Story of a Small Art Pottery Nick and Marilyn Nicholson and to have continued conversation with the delightful Bob and Mary Ellen Seery from New Mexico, experts and convention lecturers on the early Cincinnati Potteries.
Indeed, after these intensive days, I’m exhausted and suffering from mild sensory overload.

Jensen lecturer Eldred is shown with a Jensen painting.

The standard of excellence in informational presentations set by Anita Ellis at the opening banquet was met in the fascinating lectures I attended.
Lisa Eldred offered some highly interesting insights into the mind of the Rookwood Pottery’s modernist Jens Jensen.
I was particularly interested in the “constraints" Jensen felt from Rookwood management regarding his abstract female nudes and amused by a management conflicted with Jensen’s productive and lucrative output, often decorating 15 vessels per day, and the Danish immigrant’s interest in the nude female form.
Some things seem to never change in Cincinnati.
Before Jensen and the relatively recent and infamous contre-temps with Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography, I recall that Cincinnati Impressionist Frank Duveneck caused a turn of the 20th century morals crisis with a pastel female nude entitled Siesta purchased to decorate a popular downtown saloon.
After rumors of the painting spread to the wives of the bar’s patrons, saloon owner Theodore Foucar decided to donate the painting to the Cincinnati Art Museum saying, “That girl was too naked for my saloon, but she was not too naked for high society.”

As Bob lectures, Mary Ellen displays a 1903 M.Louise McLaughlin porcelain.

Bob and Mary Ellen Seery punctuated their remarks with many examples of early Cincinnati pottery from their vast collection during a fascinating lecture titled Formed in Clay: A History of Cincinnati Seen Through It’s Potteries, 1870’s to 1960’s.

While particularly intrigued with this beautiful, rare and quite heavy Avon Pottery figural, I was most interested in the Seery’s examples of creative cross-pollination between the artists and craftsmen of the early potteries.

The suspected diverse use made of McLaughlin and Longworth’s low and high fire kilns at the Coultry Pottery prior to 1880 seems to have continued into the 20th century as graphically illustrated by the nearly identical artwork evidenced between the pictured Walter Crane illustration on a Wheatley tile and a strikingly similar design on the later piece of Avon Pottery.

I was also awestruck by the various and beautiful exhibits by currently working American potters including the Hog Hill Pottery in Vale, NC, the Chris Powell Pottery in Westerville, OH, Door County Handworks Studio from Madison, WI and the Turtle Island Pottery in Black Mountain, NC and disappointed that many local Cincinnati potters elected not to exhibit at this year’s convention.
If you feel a nascent interest in American ceramics, I urge you to explore the AAPA's web page and to join and participate or lurk in the Art Pottery discussion group.

Images: sean

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