John Bauer is many things; award-winning ceramic artist, entrepreneur, e-book author of An Emotional Dictionary and philosopher, but is probably best known for his beautiful, signature poetry bowls (see them on his website). The enigmatic words he writes in these fine porcelain bowls are his way of imparting his perceived wisdoms.
Love is a central theme and many bowls portray angelic creatures and words of love. He says, “I’ve had thousands of hours of solitude in my studio to think. It enables me to digest problems of the world and say things that will help people. That’s what I am looking to do; make comments to liberate people and enable greater happiness.”
she was easy on the eye
she was pleasant to talk with
she had a heart of gold
but could she make an 82 maple bonsai sing an opera backwards
This poem is saying be careful about setting standards so high that you spend your life alone. It’s a topic that Bauer has considered deeply and in order to find a wife for himself he wrote in his bowls “somebody will read this and ring my doorbell and propose”. When that didn’t work he added his phone number! One woman did buy a bowl that she loved so much that she proclaimed she would marry the man who made it. They subsequently met through pure chance and the logistics for a 5-year long wedding are being discussed!
John Bauer is most definitely a man of the moment and attempts to live a barter lifestyle because he says “Money is irrelevant. Meaning is the currency of the modern world. I don’t allow the world to limit me.” He invites patrons by saying so on his bowls and since it worked by bringing him love, perhaps it will bring patrons too.
Bauer has been cited as being “Outlandish and full of imaginative madness and splendour.” He is certainly all that and wears his self-proclaimed fame loudly and proudly. His work appears alongside other artists found in Cape Grace shop such as Lisa Firer, in an exhibition of ceramics at The Castle of Good Hope and the works are then retained as part of the SA Museum’s permanent collection. His ceramics are also found at Imagenius, 117 Long Street and galleries in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
There are various events coming up where you can see John Bauer in person and/or his work; Potters Market, Rondebosch on 17 November (go early for some amazing bargains), look at their facebook page. The Franschhoek Art in Clay Festival 27 October–16 November 2012 with exhibitions at various venues in the area