The artist world is filled with interesting people. One my favorites is The Cursing Dog (aka Mark Davis) who creates pottery pieces that juxtapose the the light and dark of our world. Mark agreed to stop by and say hello this morning.
Welcome, Mark. I don’t think I did a great job of describing your work above. Can you tell us about your pottery?
I make handmade pottery, usually functional. I also create some paintings. All of it has a horror theme, but horror with big smiles and tongue planted firmly in cheek. All of my skulls smile and all of my zombies know when to laugh.
Laughing zombies? What led you to creating pieces like that?
My early life included some dark relationships. I think the way I got healthy was to embrace the darkness and laugh with it. I truly believe that Batman and The Joker made me realize that it was OK to see the darkness and still smile. That may sound silly but it is very true. Death imagery can be an inoculation against fear. I am hoping to inoculate the world against fear, violence and hatred by looking into the dark and laughing like a madman.
I know you’re a pretty deep person, and without getting too personal, I’d like people to get a feel for that as well. Many artists and writers have an “a ha” moment, where some major piece of their life and their art come into focus. Can you share what that moment was for you?
Possibly the single biggest lesson I learned was from an early professor who I complained to. I mentioned that I was having difficulty producing a particular form and he said “The first ten thousand are hard. After that it gets easy.” I found that phrase very painful in that moment. I have taken amazing comfort in it ever since. Repetition can be comfort. Comfort can make almost any idea easy to address. It took me a little while to understand that he was saying that you cannot think about a backflip while doing a backflip. You have to have done it so many times that your body is free to act.
That reminds me of the 10,000 hour rule mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell’s nonfiction book, Outliers. It takes 10,000 hours to become really good at anything.
You’ve got a shop on Etsy for your pottery, and I know you are in some shows as well. Are there any coming up?
I am showing in Danville, VA in early October, Rising Star in Bluefield, WV in Late October and I am a Guest Artist at Mysticon in Roanoke, VA in late February.
I’ve listed below the social media sites where people can find out more about your work and where you’ll be showing. Thanks for stopping by, Mark!
Follow Mark Davis, The Cursing Dog
Or see more of his work on Etsy