BWW Interviews: BRUCE A. McCAUSLAND
Buffalo's Bruce A. McCausland is a busy man.
MCL: "Creative expressions through clay, reflections of emotions and feelings often with a sense of humor".
Can you elaborate?
BAM: Sure! I wanted to come up with an expression that describes my pottery and might spark some interest, that's really what I was trying to convey in a single line.
MCL: Your Mother, Grand Mother and Great Grandmother were all local Artist. Please tell us about them.
BAM: Interesting, isn't it, that most of artistic talent manifested itself in the opposite gender? Actually, it didn't, my father and paternal grandfather were accomplished writers, also my great-great-grandfather lectured and wrote extensively too, but before I discuss my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, I want to talk about them first.
My father has written and published several books and also composes poetry, his father, Walter McCausland was an amazing and highly disciplined man, he served as vice-president of Advertising and Marketing for the old bus and trolley line the NFT and its predecessor, the old IRC. He also wrote extensively about the history of Western New York, publishing many pieces while also serving as historian for Buffalo's first church (First Presbyterian, on Symphony Circle), a task I would later take on myself fifty years later, but that is another story. He was also very active with the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, serving as a trustee a He came to Buffalo from Philadelphia around 1925 and remained a resident of Buffalo until his death in 1966. Even today, if you googled Walter McCausland, many of his published writings will come up.
My mother was a graphic artist and painter who worked in the graphic arts departments in Kobacker's, AM&A's, and a few advertising agencies, near the end of her career, she had her own advertising agency. My paternal grandmother lived to be over a hundred years old, and was a very highly regarded artist, who served as historian for many years for the Buffalo Society of Artists; she has had her works displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Burchfield-Penney Gallery, Albright-Knox, etc., and was well known local artist. Her mother, was a truly amazing woman, a talented artist, researcher, photographer, and writer. I have often regretted never having the chance to know her as she died six or seven years before I was born.
MCL: You have stated your pottery has its own "unique technique". What would that be?
BAM: I'm sure that there is "nothing new" in pottery, but it is how you apply those techniques that make each creation unique. I simply combine existing techniques and put my "own spin" on it (so-to-speak), to create unusual pieces. I like to believe that I "think-outside-the-box" as I get easily bored doing something over and over, so I change it up and try something new. I often combine thrown pieces with hand-building techniques and create one-of-a-kind pieces.
MCL: You seem to be a very accomplished potter (is potter correct ). Please tell us about any upcoming events?
BAM: I have many passions, pottery and poetry being just a couple of them. As far as shows coming up, I will be displaying at the Elmwood Festival-Of-The-Arts in Buffalo, NY this coming August 23rd & 24th (Saturday & Sunday), followed by the Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival in Olcott, NY on September 13th & 14th (yes, I will be wearing my kilt! ;-) ), the Clarence Art Show November 1st & 2nd, and I plan on participating in the Parkside Community Association Holiday Arts & Crafts Show on November 29th.
MCL: How did you begin Writing?
BAM: Would you believe in grammar school I used to actually hate writing? It gave me hand cramps! Anyway, I loved creating, but every time I wrote a story in grammar school, I would find myself in trouble, I would be pulled out of class, sent to the principal's office, and my parents would be called in. It seems that I was a bit too creative in my story plots for teachers who were more concerned with grammar than imagination. Anyway, I suppose my first real indulgence in writing was while I was in the Navy, where creative log entries were frowned upon, and rhyming was not encouraged. But I really became serious with my poetry in the mid to late 1980's through the early 1990's.