Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Old Things in Transitional February

Greetings on a slow misty February Day. I am continuing in the project of documenting and publishing our vintage work. We are hoping for a new door to open soon, which will bring with it many challenges. For now it is just a steady pace of keeping on keeping on, in preparation for the new.

These are a few recently posted items.


Original prototype of Canada Goose Small



The small melon vase, simple and sensuous light and shadow catchers. The glazes on these two are perfectly done.


Snail Prototype

I am continuing the Medium journey, taking advantage of the opportunity to synthesize everything that is evolving into something whole.I am not sure where it is all going, but certainty is an really only an illusion.

My latest Medium post is a synopsis of sorts.


Spring is incrementally moving in!

The Andersens



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Vintage Brand


Prototypes of the straight mug with blue and green hand painted stripes
Dear Friends of Andersen Design,

The mugs two mugs above are signed with a personal scripted signature, used at a time before the idea of a brand (Andersen Design) emerged. These are very early works, likely original prototypes of the simple and classic straight mug with hand decorated stripes

Two vintage prototypes

Below is a rare set of four straight mugs. These mugs were created in the production process. Although this design appears  simple, it is not easily executed without daily practice, The colors have to be properly adjusted. Working with the brushes and the ceramic colors and laying down the stripes in a rhythmic pattern relies on intuitive confidence and a properly balanced white glaze. Practice makes perfect.

Set of Four Vintage Blue Green Stripe Mugs
The mug in the upper left corner has a skip, adding to its charm, Usually a skip just happens but an artist could attempt to develop the ability to skip at will. Andersen Design is embedded into the mold on the bottom of the mugs.

Vintage Pitchers


These two pitchers are rare early works in the blueberry glaze and an unusual pastel creamy glaze.



Vintage Large Seal NFS

This is a vintage large seal. We hope to find a new studio this year with space for all the many processes a business of this kind involves so that we can teach the skills to others .The large seal would be a very special piece to teach others to produce because the decorative technique interacts with the individuality of the artisan's decorating hand. No two are ever exactly alike. We will need to do a Kickstarter fundraiser to make it happen.

To extend our outreach, I have been spending my writing and reading time on Medium. It is more than blogging it is an interactive world of bloggers, a new medium of individualized voices, some of them promoting very collectivist ideas. The world is changing so dramatically and at a very fast rate, but humanity has not. There is a need for purposeful work within a diversity of fields, not merely high tech.

I have found some other writers with whom I feel a connection. I am in awe of Lauren Reiff, She writes beautifully about a wide range of topics from financial markets to psychology. The Nature of Money by Ben Kaufmann has a special clarity.

It takes a while to establish ones self on Medium, most say a year. I took some time to establish two publications of my own. I am interested in working with other writers for both.



 I created Hand Making Makers of the World, because I could not find a good publication for the hand made industry.


And I created Think Global Act Local because I needed a place to publish the specific research I have been involved in for 10 years or so on the Maine economic development statutes.

Love!

The Andersens

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Rare Original One of A Kind Midcentury Platters by Brenda Andersen


A Great New Year Unfolds!

Calling for Contributors to New Medium Publication, Hand Making Makers of the World


Presenting The Rare Original One of A Kind Mid-century Platters 

by Brenda Andersen 




Brenda Andersen designed many of Andersen Design's production patterns and in the process there were times when she veneered into pure creativity producing uniquely and spontaneous one of a kind objects of art.The liberty to let the craftsmanship and discipline of repetitive patterning interact with the inspired imagination of the creative artisan became part of the Andersen Design production process confounding conventional concepts of production.





The Platter decorated in a blue green tree exemplifies the way that Brenda was able to decorate in a style that is at one controlled and lyrical. The graceful leaves and branches require a discipline of will to maintain their consistent character but it there is never a feeling of a mechanized routine in Brenda's work. Although the leaves have an elegant consistency in form, the intuitive arrangement of the leaves and the branches expresses a faith in a spontaneous unfolding of the world.

The Portrait of a Lady with flowers cascading through her hair and down her form was likely created by Brenda in the late fifties or early sixties. The figure has a dreamy wistful look as she stands in a field with nature abounding. One wonders what is on her mind. Brenda's faces are always expressive. This one is no exception.

Platter with Primitive Green Tree by Brenda Andersen circa 1950's

​Uniquely rigorous brushwork creates an artful tree with a primitive edge in this one of a kind artwork by Brenda on Weston's long oval platter, circa 1950's.

Primitive Fish By Brenda Andersen, circa 1950's

This Fish is the only one of its kind painted in a brown, green and black color palette in Brenda's inimitable style. The fish is painted on Weston's long oval platter, circa 1950's.

Family of Fish by Brenda Andersen circa 1950's


This Mother Fish with Babies is the only one of its kind painted in a blue, green and grey and white color palette in Brenda's inimitable style. The family of fish is painted on Weston's long oval platter, circa 1950's.16 inches long, 7.5 inches wide. 1 inch high. The signature on is a scripted Anderson Signature is solid black, quite an exceptionally beautiful signature in our opinion. The personal last name signature dates the platter in the early fifties, when the Andersen's were on Southport Island and had not yet reverted the spelling of their last name to the original Danish version "andersen".


Friday, December 27, 2019

New Year News and Hope!


New Medium Publication Hand Made Makers of The World

In exploring Medium, I have found that it is a place that has much to offer but what it doesn't have is a strong publication representing the hand made artist designer community. This is unsurprising because as the world evolves, large forces have also excluded many things valued in the past to paint the world in digital brush strokes. This phenomena is evident in my economic development research from Marco Rubio's, American Investment in the Twenty First Century, which identifies a global world divided into high value (high tech) and low value (inclusive of most hand made objects not sold in upper end markets) economies, to Boothbay's local economic development council

To correct this deficiency, I created my own Medium Publication: Designer Craftsmen of America and the World Please contact me if you would like to be part of this publication, which is seeking collaborators.

In a world moving toward collectivisation Medium is the evolution of media toward individualization, One can find advise on Medium on just about anything in a world where we are all experts in the experience of living. The medium of Medium, in the McCluhan sense is the internet.

As a representative of an entrepreneurial family business in a home with a unique history, I find that there is little advice from conventional sources which suits our individual situation. In a venue like Medium it is possible that I can find advice that is relevant from others who have carved their own pathways. I can also give advice to others, which advice of the moment is to take a Medium subscription for $5,00 a month and start exploring the world of individualized media on your own. You will find much that is of no interest, but you can tailor your own home page to deliver what is valuable for your unique path.

Vintage Prototype of the Antarctic Seal in extremely rare natural brown, circa 1960's

A Special End of the Year Request to help is reach our goal:

In the last week of the year we have a goal to raise $5000,00 in sales which will enable us to get better financing to begin a project of working with other studios to produce some of our moderately priced items, 

Wide Gingerbread Mug with brown tree decorated by Elise Isabel Andersen
There is now a brown slip available on the commercial market which very much resembles the signature brown slip Dad designed in midcentury, which you see on the Antarctic Seal above, The availability of a commercial facsimile to our hand crafted brown slip, makes it more possible to work with other studios using their bodies to produce some of our original designs, such as the mugs,and small birds. This is also consistent with my vision of reinventing Andersen Design production as a network of small independently own slip-casting studios.

We will consider all reasonable offers on our vintage work which can be gifted to a museum as a tax deductible contribution, The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine has expressed an interest in the Andersen history. Andersen work has been sold throughout our history in Museum Stores such as the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and the Brooklyn Museum in NYC, Our large Salad Bowl in the Brown Tree patter was the number one seller in the America House, a high end crafts store which was located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.


We hope to put together a more official collectors reference with a list of Museums who are interested in contributions in 2020.

Meanwhile...


Medium is a social media venue that offers contributors an opportunity to earn money quantified by reader interest.

Consequently, there are many articles written about how to make money on Medium. The popular advice is to publish every day. There are many articles about the burn out effect some experience from trying to meet the highly demanding publishing quota, entailed in such advice. Take it or leave it.

I decided to leave it and publish a post derived from the independent research into Maine economic central management which I have pursued for the last ten years,

I though it would be easy to quickly put together a post since much of the story was already composed and would only need reconfiguring. This, of course, turned out to be untrue. It took me quite some time to put together the article and when it was done it took me quite some more time to recover from the task. I closed down my involvement from Medium for a while after finishing the story. I was taken by surprise by my reaction but upon reflection, I realised that it is because this is a difficult history to be reporting about. It is a story about the University of Maine. One would like to think of the University as something that exists purely as a public benefit, but the facts recorded in the statutes and congressional documents reveals something else.


James Madison by Gilbert Stuart

The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to an uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.
James Madison Federalist Paper #10
I chose to publish my post in the Medium Publication that I like the best Discourse and Dialogue, although this publication does not have the high number of followers that other publications have,

How The Morrill Act gave birth to Public Ownership of Private Intellectual Property in the USA. 

This turned out to be a good decision. My history of the The Morrill Act and the founding of the University of Maine to its contemporary evolution, was chosen for Medium's prime History category where it will get the most exposure and will also be used in Medium apps and emails.

So by rejecting the mainstream for the niche publication, I ended up in the big stream. My advice is aim for quality not quantity and follow the meaning not the money.

One of the best parts of Medium is to discover that the people who follow one are also the ones one likes to follow. Here are some that I enjoy:

Richie Crowley: A human, sharing their intimate moments with a spirit of alliance. Now that you’re here, I invite you to feel, something: 

It is true that I like following Richie Crowley because he is uplifting. He makes me feel abundant and inspires as a blogger. Richard Crowley has great clarity in his approach to life and is very wholesome. I enjoyed his recommendations on subscriptions to keep, and will be trying some  of those subscriptions  myself. 

Alexia Carroll

It is impossible to be unhappy on a bicycle

Written with imperfect grammar and yet it is perfect. As with Richard Crowley, the writer makes me feel something, and it is uplifting.

Ali Kayaspor
Math Teacher. Mathematics. Soccer player. 
The Stunning Beauty of Islamic Geometric Patterns 

stunningly beautiful. Also uplifting.


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a Great New Year!

Mackenzie 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Recently Posted Items.


In Appreciation of the Simple Form, White Says  it Well:

Variations on the Cycladic Vase in White

Small Mellon, Big Mellon



Vintage Variation of a Cycladic Vase in One of a Kind Pattern 

Christine Thalia Andersen's decorative expression on Sheeba, a form designed by Weston Neil Andersen, One of a Kind



A Vintage Turtle Prototype in Rare Matte Green Glaze




I really miss being involved in the ceramic making process, and the opportunity to teach it to others. Hope the New Year is the Year of the Phoenix!

Mackenzie




Saturday, November 30, 2019

New Horizons with a Holiday Coupon

Tall Gingerbread Mug by Weston, Loop Pattern conceived by Weston executed by Mackenzie


Greetings to All.I hope you had a great Thanks Giving! 
We are giving you a 20% discount on orders over $100.00 on firsts and vintage items. 
Good through Dec 4 2019
Use coupon code: Giving 2019

Integrating a New Orbit


Writing is becoming more complicated since I started writing for Medium, a place where over 10000 writers from around the world contribute, and where there are many publications to which one can submit one's work, or create one's own publication.

Readers can follow writers and publications. By so doing one creates a personally curated network  displayed in a section on Medium's home page,

There is original writing on every topic, from cooking to quantum physics. Many well known magazines are on Medium, At five dollars a month it is a good bang for the buck.

I have been accepted as a writer for three publications to date,

The Start Up is the most active Media publication,
Be Unique, which is a smaller and growing publication, and
Dialogue & Discourse, my favorite Media publication, thus far.

Two of these articles relate to independent research in which I have been engaged for the last decade. Medium will be the primary venue for my political voice, which is inseparable in the real world from my entrepreneurial voice, artist voice, philosopher's voice and so on but cyberspace has it's own rules, as if another dimension. The challenging, and initially confusing aspect of expanding one's orbit, is how to channel it all effectively. The content published on Medium will not be the same as the content in this email. I will provide links to my medium articles on an ongoing basis and/or you can follow me on Medium.


The classic Tall Modulus Column Vase serves as a fascinating light catcher as the world turns
.

The Brave New World

New technology looms large in the Medium cyberscape. 

My personal desire and life mission is to preserve a creative lifestyle working in hands-on production of a craft which is a qualified contender for mankind's most ancient technology. I believe the world needs to be grounded both in our historical roots and the future toward which we are rapidly speeding, but there are large political and economic forces driving us away from one and toward the other. I intend to become a balance on the other side of the scale.

Medium is currently the repository of a future in which the ancient crafting life style has receded into history, or more accurately, has been relocated to developing nations in a binary globe divided by high valued and low values economies. This is illuminated by Marco Rubio in his report, American Investment in the Twenty First Century. 


Go to report

Medium's dominant focus is the developed world.


I have read a few posts by one popular Medium author, Zat Rana, who expands upon the hypothesis that human experience in the age of information is more complex than it ever has been before, due to the quantity of information channeled through cyberspace. He ponders how to deal with it. I, however do not find my experience of the world, since the internet made its appearance, to be more complex than running an understaffed ceramic art, design and slip-cast production business.

The Natural World is More Complex than Technology Can Capture


The ceramic making process begins with the raw materials made of molecules invisible to the human eye. One has to retain information about complex interacting systems which one cannot observe. Thanks to Tony Hansen's Digital Fire software, this is actually easier for the contemporary ceramist than it was for my dad who designed the basic recipes used by Andersen Design, calculating all the relationships on handwritten note cards. To this day, we still make our body, glazes and decorating colors from raw materials. Information is far more easier to access than it ever was, but nothing has changed in the physical handling of the raw materials, which are still delivered in 50 pound bags.


 I have been accepted as a writer for two Medium publications, thus far. The StartUp and Be Unique

While  the singular process of working with glazes is extraordinarily complex, glaze making is just one process in an array of processes that go into operating a ceramic design and production business processing of an inventory of classically marketable designs developed over a life span of sixty-seven years. Operating without a staff, nor even robots, I have learned to rely on my subliminal collective unconscious to function as director of operations. The subliminal awareness used to navigate real world complexity is accurately described in Mcluhanesque terms as integral awareness. Any complex real world situation requires it. The absence of complex situations as in unceasing, relentless, repetitive, routine work, dulls human awareness, which is why the quality of the work process should be one of the metrics that defines a "quality job" in the future of a better world.


Training the Integral Awareness


Last year I was running the production studio with only occasional help with decoration, I realized that although it was a not an efficient way to run a production, as activities which should have been occurring simultaneously were occurring consecutively, It was a challenging orchestration to bring off and would make an excellent training course for anyone with an interest in running a ceramic slip casting studio. One must manage complexities within complexities, from being aware of molecular interactions, invisible to the eye to understanding the interactivity of the entire work process from mixing the raw materials, creating the forms and applying the finishing glazes and decoration, to regulating the rate of climb and cooling of the heat of the kiln, and that does not include administration, marketing, selling and delivering the product. Computers and the internet reduce some of the work load.



The Elliptical Mug by Weston Neil Andersen, based om rotating ovals


Reinventing Production


The absence of a production studio does not mean our product can no longer be produced.We can work with other studios, which is an important direction to take in the interest of creating a basis for Andersen Design to have a future in the twenty first century. Working with other studios also provides us the opportunity to fill some missing spaces in the larger economy.


Reinventing Marketing


Andersen Design began before globalization and did not alter our mission because of globalization. Our unique history can be a presence in the turn around direction, which luminaries like Senator Rubio are formulating as a better future. National and global value systems call for reconsideration in order to move away from the divide in which there are two worlds, the developed nations and the emerging nations, the de-industrialized world and the industrialized world, and two types of economies, the high valued economy and the low value economy, which are assigned respectively to the binary halves of a globalized economy If not, the world may end up looking like it does in the Network, drama, the 3%.


The high value economy includes all things new tech. Hand crafted products of historical origins belong to the low value economy. This is very much in evidence at Medium, where a search for ceramics brought up very little indeed, and a search for handcrafted and handmade delivered a few subjects across a range of uses for those terms, the most notable by a company called Tanzo, a blockchain social media platform using crypto currency, and decentralized marketing, aiming to become a marketing alternative for handmade products, especially important to designer craftsmen/women, in emerging nations, but also important in the United States.


Tall Gingerbread mug and brown slip decorating technique designed by Weston Neil Andersen, decorated in leaf pattern, by Susan Mackenzie Andersen
Tanzo writes that artists can register in guilds. Andersen Design can create such a guild based on our historical integrity, a western ceramic company which did not participate in the mass exodus of production from America to low cost labor markets and yet competed successfully in a market filled with imports at a price point affordable to the middle class. Such is our established history, the foundation for an American-Made Guild.
Crafters have the option to register as participants in one or two guilds or other types of organisations. Incentives will be rewarded by the platform based on the number of crafters an organisation brings in. This is how TANZO intends to provide wealth within the organisations. Such incentives will be allowed solely for the promotion of the organisation’s activities. Crafters will in turn be indirectly incentivized by their guild’s activities. Tanzo- Why Blockchain
Decentralized marketing is an intriguing development. It is because Medium is so high tech heavy that I have become aware of blockchain, but my understanding is insufficient to date.The articles I have read do not explain how it works for the end user as a medium of exchange, rather than investment. I am still learning.

Strategizing Capitalization


Our strategy is to raise money for a new production studio by three methods. 

Method #1 is through the sales of our vintage line

Method #2 is a KickStarter project, which requires developing an expanded email list, which in good faith, will be aided by Medium. 

The third method is to develop relationships with other American slip casting studios to produce and develop products in our line. Initiating this process  will require a smaller capital investment which we hope can be raised by method #1

If this succeeds the products produced by other studios will be used as middle range rewards for our Kickstarter Project. We can also develop marketing venues for the new products produced by other studios one product at a time.

An Historical Line of Classic Mug Designs


This post features some of Andersen Design's mug designs. Mugs are are marketable as a stand alone product and thereby mugs an ideal product for use in developing creative working relationships with other American studios. Mugs can be finished in commercial glazes or proprietary glazes and decorated in endless ways by talented artisans. Endless creative possibilities. My hope for the new year is to make this idea a reality.


A simple mug but an all time favorite, a balanced design with hand painted stripes in a pleasing relationship.


PEACE!







Thursday, October 31, 2019

Production and Consumerism in High Culture


This Eating Duck is included in our Vintage Fundraiser, priced to afford to launch a mug project with an existing American slip casting studio
The Eating Duck is the last sculpture Dad worked on, and the first one in which the subject is involved in an activity as opposed to a portrait in repose. It began as our egg form vase and the sculpture was built around it.

It seemed no co-incidence that the last sculpture Dad created, hatched from an egg, one of my Dad's elemental forms, suggests a future direction for the company he founded. As I worked with these images I realized that the subject matter calls out to be reproduced as an outdoor sculpture.

The space created by the sculpture is very intimate. One can get very very close to the duck as it feeds. The Eating Duck is a natural subject for an out door sculpture in a rural public square or on a woodland walk, and a reminder of our planetary co-habitants in an urban landscape. It would be striking in a sculpture garden surrounding the Andersen Design Museum of America Designer Craftsmen, when the museum materializes.

This Eating Duck is being saved for reference for our proposed outdoor art sculpture

The first challenge is to find, invent, or adapt the material out of which this sculpture can be made.  The material must be strong enough to withstand severe weather conditions while retaining the beautiful ceramic surface quality of Dad's brown decorating slip. This is an area about which I presently know nothing. I am hypothesizing that such a technology is possible today. The first stage is research into how it can be produced, and then how it will be funded.


The first images that come to mind of existing outdoor nature sculptures express power and/or aggression, such as the bull in downtown the Manhattan's financial district and ancient stone lions.

In an article titled 10 Best Sculpture Parks Around the World, of twenty-one images, only two sculptures have wildlife as a subject matter, (excluding the human species) and one of those two is a mythical creature, Pegasus, the winged horse. The other is a Deer by artist Tony Tasset, created in fibreglass, epoxy and paint.

In the article, Jessica Stewart writes "For centuries collectors and artists have brought together monumental sculpture and placed it against nature, with institutions finding the allure of art and environment an attractive calling card for visitors."

 "Monumental" suggests that a sculpture must be very large in size to assert its importance, as appears to be the case with most of the sculptures featured in the article. The Deer by Tony Tasset is "supersized". The description on the Laumeier Sculpture Park website states;“The surreal juxtaposition of the supersized deer emerging from the woodland dramatizes the relationship of what it means to be human, the identity of sculpture and their respective places in nature. Tasset explains Deer “as a work that represents the highest conceptual ambitions with a delightful populist twist.

The artist. Tony Tasset, describes the Deer in the language of a cultural artifact emphasizing conceptualism, ambition, and populism. Ambition is "the highest conceptual ambition". Imagining a large scale sculpture is easy, It is in the making of the work wherein ambition lies. The larger the artwork, the more ambitious it is to produce. I wondered if Tasset is himself involved in the making of the work or if he contracts it out. I went through several articles about Tasslet, including an interview but the discussion about how the work is produced is not to be found, and so I concluded that Tasslet has no involvement in the making of the work, for if he did , he would surely have something to say about it. The popular twist must refer to the imagery and the style of the fawn. a subject which engages human love for babies and animals, but the words imply that sentimental love is of the populous, the "low" of the "high and low art, which Mr Tasset says he seeks to merge.The populous are categorically separate from conceptual ambitions. Although Tasset breaks away from industrial and technological imagery in his subject matter, he can not let go in his thought of the cultural elitism so thinly veiled in the simulacra art of the postmodern era. Nonetheless, Tasset has introduced imagery otherwise missing in the sculpture garden portfolio.

I envision the Eating Duck as a larger sculpture than Andersen Design traditionally makes, but not supersized, unless one is considering the perspective of the Duck. I see the Eating Duck produced in a size equivalent to human size amplifying the intimate space created by the activity of eating, an act common to Man and his cohabitating species. The Duck should be on a pedestal so that it is situated so that a human observer can get very close to Duck's head as it eats and its eyes gaze to the side to meet the human eyes of the viewer.

The text on the Laumeier website says "This cunning work explores how we collectively dwell in the landscape but also celebrates the unique environment created when art frames nature."  I think of outdoor sculpture the other way around. When sculpture is displayed out doors nature frames art. It would be easier to solve the challenges of creating a large sculpture to be displayed indoors, but an indoor work is not as interactive a part of our everyday environment. An outdoor work becomes part of the passerby's experience, taken in and absorbed in the course of living their lives.

Doe with Fawn by Elise Isabel Andersen

Andersen Design is proposing self appropriation of original, small scale. popular. niche market art, made large, but since it is a work process rooted in the raw materials of the earth, fashioned by man into an original image, it is not appropriation but rather evolution, and not post modern, but post-post modern, in a twist on Allen Sekula (discussed below) because it does not give image to the void of production but to the anomaly of production in the de-industrialized world. Andersen Design's process begins in the small scale and that is its importance. In the small scale the work evolves differently. Mind and materiality are inseparabile in the act of creation. My father, who created this business, with my mother, had very intellectual and esoteric mind, but he chose a very physical form of expression.

In postmodernism, conceptualism is realized through making something small, large. In ceramics it has always been possible to scale down a design, but not to scale it up in size. I am hypothesizing that with today's technology it should be possible to move in both directions, and that both directions contribute to the cultural meaning of Andersen Design's art. Imagine that our proposed network of small studios includes one studio specializing in scaling up or scaling down designs. It would likely also specialize in making supports for sculptures like the Heron, needed to keep its neck from sagging during firing. This would be a creatively innovative endeavor in a rural community which maintains ordinances encouraging the quality of a rural working lifestyle in which businesses in the home proliferate. This kind of a community would not be your every day megalopolis. Because Andersen Design has an inventory of over two hundred designs, which have maintained marketability since the day they were created, sold not to mass markets, but to niche markets, and so not over produced, Andersen Design can potentially provide the basis for such a specialized studio provided adequate funding. Our Vintage line is continually being updated with new additions and is instrumental in our diverse multiplex bootstrapping financing strategy, Check it out!

Heron Sculpture by Weston Neil Andersen

The Serf's Story:


Jeff Koons is the reigning star of postmodernism in the eighties and beyond. In August of 2012, The New York Times published I Was Jeff Koons’s Studio Serf by John Powers. Powers was a twenty one year old art student at the time he worked for Koons. He painted the cracked Egg oil paining by Koons. Koons described himself as "an idea person", The art is in the idea, separated from the act of producing the idea, like the intellect is separated from animals. Powers describes his job painting Koon's paintings in similar terms used by Amazon distribution workers, describing their jobs imitating robots.
My job was simple: Paint by numbers. The most intricate sections required miniature brushes, sizes 0 and 00, their bristles no longer than an eyelash. The goal was to hand-fashion a flat, seamless surface that appeared to have been manufactured by machine, which meant there could be no visible brush strokes, no blending, no mistakes. John Powers I Was Jeff Koons’s Studio Serf 
 Leaning Mug by Weston, the white glaze falls over the hand carved nautilus as a happenstance of nature.
Andersen Design production work has a goal diametrically opposite that of Koons. Koon's goal is to create art made by humans that looks like it is made by a machine. While the goal of Andersen Deign's art is to hand fashion a surface that appears to have been made by nature, human nature. The goal in Koon's process is to have every production piece look the same. The idea of the Andersen Design production process is that no two hand crafted works are ever exactly alike.

On November 30, 2012, Jeff Koons was awarded the United States Medal of Art by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It is described as "The first Medal Of Arts awards,(by the State Department) granted to five artists.

The main reason, that I could grasp, for selecting Koons, is that he is very famous and at the time his art commanded the highest market price in the world. In my opinion, the message conveyed by Koons is not beneficial to United States diplomacy. I am not alone in my reaction to Koon's appropriated kitsch, transformed into high art by scale and costly materials, a self portrait of the artist looking, with disdain, simultaneously towards the world and within, while expounding a philosophical view of capitalism which is often protested, across the world, as deplorable.

In the honorary speech, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton recognized Koons for the time in that year when he spoke before an audience of 1000 listeners in China. According to Secretary of State Clinton Mr Koons "inspired cross-cultural appreciation and thought-provoking discussions among the city's art community". Inspire he did, based on the content of his work, which speaks of consumerism and capitalism. Soon after Koon's presentation, the Chinese came out with a lower priced version of Koon's work.

The Secretary of State characterized the core of our government as public private relationships, without which the Awards program could not exist. but did not explain why one cannot give an award without such a precondition: She cited De Tocqueville, a critic of American individualism, and then spoke of what acquaintance with the awardees would mean for people yearning to express themselves under a repressive regime:
"One of the great characteristics of our country are our public-private partnerships. They are really at the core of how we do everything. De Tocqueville noticed that, but we’ve continued to perfect and increase our extraordinary partnerships between government and business, between civil society and academia. Our partnerships are really at the core of who we are and what we do. And this program could not exist without those partners. So on behalf of the Obama Administration, and especially everyone who works in our Diplomatic Corps around the world, we have been blessed by your generosity......
 [Each of these artists] are living testaments to the timeless and unending human urge to create and connect," she continued. "So they provide us with another language of diplomacy, one that evokes our universal aspirations as human beings, our common challenges, and our responsibilities for thinking through and addressing the problems that we face together......
Just think of what each of these artists means for people yearning to express themselves, that young artist living under a repressive regime, that budding painter who’s not quite sure where he or she fits in. Now, not all of these people will ever meet any of these artists, but they will learn about them and themselves, maybe even know something of their spirit and tap into a deeper level of inspiration, because they will encounter their works.........".  link to no longer available speech
On July 29 2014, artnet news reported that a Chinese Company is producing copies of Koons work,

Meanwhile.....


Weston Neil Andersen was raised on an Iowan farm in the era before farming was over taken by corporate interests. Weston and Brenda were fortunate in establishing Andersen Design at the pinnacle of the American middle class, when, as Dad often told, the greatest amount of wealth was distributed among the greatest number of people. Dad would often remember the days of his youth as a time when the community spirit was greater and the food was better and one would forget, as he said so, that he was talking about the depression. Even then he was fortunate to live in a town which had two banks with $1000.00 each, but he also told stories of forlorn wanderers, passing through, whom grandfather provided with jobs on the farm. In that simple story is a key concept; We are all humanity's saving grace, if we choose to be so. We may not be able to deterministically affect the larger forces that create the human condition but within our local environment, individual to individual, we make a difference. My father's reaction to the changes during his time was to create something which preserved the values, he felt to be inherently better than those being heralded in with the industrial revolution. Today we have moved on to the digital revolution, but the transitional issues of working process values remain the same.

The Leaning Nautilus Mug by Weston Neil Andersen


Hand made production is a mindful work process, the humanistic alternative to the 19th century revolt against the working conditions brought about by the industrial revolution. Andersen Design is a production as an art medium established during a brief historical moment which was a precursor to the cultural movement which began in the 1960's with Andy Warhol.

Warhol's "factory" was a hands-on artistic art process in which the subject of art was commercialism and mass culture celebrity. Andy Warhol's art factory transformed the factory workers into stars, by the mere act of branding them with outstanding names and featuring them in films produced by the factory. Quite the opposite of the next generation of the "production as an art form" genre in high culture. Mark Kostabi and Jeff Koons keep the production of their art at an arm's distance. The focus was on Koons and Kostabi, while the factory workers were as faceless as the subjects in Kostabi's art.

In the early nineties a new art movement emerged in the work of photographer and critic, Allan Sekula, who first came into wide public attention in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Instead of making images of images the subject of art, Sekula's photographed the effects left by the vanishing of images of production in the developed world, photographing the void within cultural and economic globalisation.

In 2012, the Tate Museum published online, a lengthy discussion of the work of photographer, and photography critic, Allan Sekula, written artistically, in the Mcluhan sense, by Bill Roberts,

Production in View: Allan Sekula’s Fish Story and the Thawing of Postmodernism, examines the occlusion of visual imagery of production in the developed world. Roberts identifies the geographical reorganization of the globe by the industrialization of the south and east and the deindustrialization of the north. The imagery of Fish stories are the oceans and  accompanying maritime industries, contrasting unanchored capitalism with the bulk and weight of the vessels which transport goods across waters from the industrialized zones to the consumer economies. Mr Roberts writing captures a sense of cultural weightlessness mirrored in the trending economic vacuity of American macroeconomic investment strategies examined in Senator Rubio's report, American Investment in the Twenty First Century.
The overarching subject of Sekula’s material was global maritime industry, and especially its role as the largely unseen bedrock of the worldwide distribution of commodities. Fish Story thus confronted the space-time compression of a consumerist world whose latest buzzword, ‘friction-free capitalism’, conjured images of a dematerialised economy newly enabled by the computer as ‘the sole engine of our progress’, with its own abundant imagery of the slow, weighty transportation of goods across the oceans, a vast water-borne iron and steel infrastructure, and of lives defined, both at work and at leisure, by its shifting global parameters; an affront to the ‘blinkered narcissism of the information specialist’, as Sekula himself has remarked.21 Production in View: Allan Sekula’s Fish Story and the Thawing of Postmodernism
Roberts and Sekula's work amplifies the lost connection in contemporary western culture to the meaningful value of work and the relationship between productivity and wealth creation, hidden from view, and banished from language in the consumer economies of the North. Mr Roberts echoes Marshall Mcluhan on the role of the artist in understanding the human relationship to technology. Mcluhan wrote "The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awarenessMarshall Mcluhan, the Medium is the Message
Fish Story’s articulation of the global, macroeconomic scene is not merely that, but also a powerful intervention into precisely this insular artistic and art-institutional picture. If art is indeed situated at the nerve centre of this cultural amnesia as the standard bearer for ideologies of the ‘weightless economy’, Fish Story asks whether the visual arts might in fact be the ideal arena in which to confront this repression, by way of a photographic activism that would disarm art’s First-World ideologies of simulacral self-sufficiency.27  
Twenty-six years later censorship of "production" reigns in art world institutionalism. Throughout its history, Andersen Design has been flaunting categorization by a culture increasingly fuedalized while flummoxed by an American ceramic slip-cast production as the medium for hand crafted art marketed to the middle class. The upside is that exclusion from institutionalism necessitates individualism. There is a system outside the system, where the butterflies roam, flapping their wings and expecting the unexpected in due course.

Andersen Design imagines a more culturally and economically integrated globe, a world where money is not the only organizing factor of human culture, where the work process regains its respective place in nature and humanity.

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