Daemon draws inspiration for his art from various sources. The next few weeks will feature blog posts focusing on some of these sources. The goal is to share with you some ideas on where to draw some inspiration of your own. Whether this inspiration is for your own art, your next tattoo project, or simply the joys of your imagination, I hope that you enjoy reading the “Inspiration Series,” as I will call it. This week, the wonderful world of pottery awaits us. Pottery is a very inclusive word that refers to all objects made of fired clay. Pottery is one of the most ancient technologies still in use. Early evidence of fired clay dates back to around 30 thousand years ago: the Venus of Dolni Vestonice dates to 29.000 BC, and was found in what is today the Czech Republic. Pottery finds many uses both historically and in modern times due to its diverse potential.
Art is human nature, one could argue, a form of physical manifestation of the state of mind.
Creative expression is a universal activity found in all corners of the world, and shows the beauty of the human mind. Even the earliest evidences of art is impressive; Picasso is rumored to have said, upon viewing the cave art at Lascaux, France: “we have learned nothing.” As such, it is no surprise that pottery, both modern and ancient, often features elaborate designs, illustrations, and patterns. The Acoma Pueblo pottery pictured here is an excellent example, and offers insight into why pottery is an excellent source of inspiration for tattoo art; much like the human body, pottery is three-dimensional in nature – the artist must adapt his pattern to his canvas.
Mata Ortiz is a pottery tradition traceable to an area with long indigenous habitation history, located at the base of a mountain (El Indio) and the west bank of Rio Palanganas in Northern Mexico. It is named after the modern town of Mata Ortiz; the oldest finds are associated with the archaeological site of Paquimé. Mata Ortiz is famous for its pottery, which is crafted entirely by hand, without the use of a pottery wheel. The resources that are needed are all found locally, and harvest of the materials is largely sustainable. The pottery is elaborately decorated, and is one of Daemon’s biggest pottery-based inspirations.
How can you apply this knowledge to your next tattoo? The answer, thanks to the internet, is quite simple. Say you’re thinking about getting a Polynesian-inspired tattoo, but have little idea of what patterns you’d like to surround that awesome hammerhead shark on your thigh with. You’ve seen some neat patterns done by Daemon, but you need one or two new ones in
there. You’ve perused examples on the internet countless times, but nothing has quite resonated with you. Pottery is your friend! You’re no archaeologist, so you have no clue what the traditional Polynesian pottery traditions are called – a quick search on Google answers that, no problem: it’s called Lapita. This opens up a whole new catalogue of source images that you can sift through until you find the pattern that makes your hammerhead shark feel right at home. Awesome!
Daemon’s thought of the day:
The modern version of Mata Ortiz pottery was developed through the efforts of a poor farmer in Chuhuahua, Mexico. Juan Quezada Celado had a vision about bringing forward the ancient pottery art of his ancestors and then acted upon it – right down to observing ants carrying little white balls of clay from deep within the earth, which led him to a cache of white clay that makes the most precious and sought after clay pots. His intuitive connection with Nature and the beauty that emerged from tapping into Her spoke volumes to my experience. Her gift to Juan, in turn, was abundance and self sufficiency for his whole community, where other nearby towns had failed. The exquisite, detailed designs are painstakingly burnished into the clay (my personal favourites) to create a shiny surface, or painted on clay pots that sell for large sums. Many people report that they feel the energy of these amazing, handcrafted pots. What inspires me from the perspective of tattooing, is that the design is a synergy of patterns and form into a harmonious whole. It’s not patterns on a form – the form and patterns are interdependent.
Written by Sebastian Burghardt for Urban Primitive – www.urbanprimitive.com