I have always been one to notice hands. I have no idea why. But I could pick out my son, my grandmother, my friend Jim Beckman from elementary school, my friend and pottery teacher Dan Finnegan ... hundreds of people, I think, just by seeing their hands. So when I shoot photos of people at work, somewhere in amongst all the images you will find hands. More so with potters or woodworkers or musicians, all of whom do their work with their hands.
Because Ron Philbeck and Michael Kline transmit the work of their brain to the clay through their hands, they made great subjects for photographs. Michael with big, strong hands and one missing forefinger digit on his right hand. Ron with more slender but no less strong hands from his years of throwing pots. Centering, throwing, pulling up, pulling out, picking off the wheelhead, trimming feet, adding handles, brushing on slip or cutting through it. It all requires hands.
So, here are four images of the two men at work on Sunday at the workshop they presented at Barnstable High School on Cape Cod. Extremely talented and well-spoken men, quick with stories about their lives and jibes at each other, well worth scheduling if you're looking for a traveling roadshow of two very different but equally talented potters. And there is one image here of the hands of Falmouth potter Sarah Caruso, trying her own hand at Ron's sgraffito style.
If you want more photos of them throwing or trimming, let me know and I'll post them.
Photos: Michael Kline showing newly attached handles; Ron Philbeck rabbiting up a yunomi; Michael demonstrating slip-dipping style; Ron knobbing a lid (note the turtle on the splash pan); Sarah Caruso working on a spider tile.