Monday, January 4, 2010

Paulus Berensohn

Once I heard Paulus Berensohn speak at a seminar at ECU. I was moved to tears. In fact it was rather embarrassing. When I went up to tell him how much I loved the presentation I looked at his face an something in me broke out just a bit. I told myself that there was some aspect of his spirit that reminded me of my mother's father, a deep, gentle, spiritual man, a Baptist preacher unlike any other I've met since. Still, I am not sure that my weird moment in front of Paulus was solely that... nonetheless I felt moved to tears and he saw it. I had to collect myself to speak. Paulus is many things. He lives a deeply creative existence in a valley in the mountains here in NC. He studied dance at the Julliard school in the 50's with Merce Cunnigham, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and others. He is a poet, a journalist, bookmaker, weaver, author and potter. I have looked on the internet for his book for awhile now and today it arrived, "Finding One's Way With Clay". This is just the sort of book I feel is gathering within me for metalsmiths. Like a storm cloud I feel it wanting to come into being. I want a book that broaches the question, "So what's so special about metal? Why metal anyway? Why do people want to make stuff with metal?"
I think that sort of questioning is important, vital! We should ask those kinds of questions about everything we do!

This is a comment Paulus made on ABC’s Earthbeat program awhile back. I mean is this not beautiful?!
“I mean I personally think that the craft arts isn’t about an alternative way of making a living and filling museums and galleries with gorgeous objects, I think it’s the clay and the fibre and the metals and the wood saying, ‘Listen, listen to me. Put your hands on me, and you’ll make contact with a living world.’"…

“The word ‘art’, if you go back into its etymological roots, it’s not a noun, it’s a verb, it’s a doing, an acting, and it comes from the root for ‘to join’. So one is behaving artistically, one is in a state of intimacy and communion with the activity at hand”… PB

I would love nothing more than to spend time, slow time, in the mountains listening to this man, learning... Maybe someday. And now I have the book so I can learn from him right now!


colleen said...

I can't wait to read the book you write on Metals! You write beautifully! The arts need you to create in words as well as metal. Get going girl!

colleen said...

You write beautifully! I can't wait to read the book you write on metal! Get going girl!

Melissa Manley said...

Thank you Colleen! The book is brewing but I don't see it as a fast kind of thing. I haven't got more than notes and an emerging idea at this point. But I am on it!