Art and Science — Final Shuttle Launch

The Space Shuttle, Atlantis, just launched today– For the final time; an historic event….

A shuttle lift-off is truly exciting (AWESOME) — But I do feel a bit sad that this is the final mission for the Shuttle Progam.


I’m writing this post for several reasons….

1 – My brother-in-law is Dan Tani, US Astronaut — First Japanese-American in Space.  And even though he’s not on this particular launch, I’m soooooooo proud of him — So much training, two separate launches, several months on the International Space Station, multiple space-walks, critical repairs, so much more.  I am truly in awe of the space-program and the accomplishments of all the astronauts/participants.  They are truly pioneers in our age!

2 – It is often presumed that Art and Science don’t mix.  As a ceramic artist, however, I am faced with many technical issues that require a rather scientific solution.  I love the artistic and aesthetic challenges — But I also enjoy the more technical/scientific challenges in understanding the chemistry of the materials I use — Both the clays and the glaze materials.  And any ceramic artist is faced with the technical issues of firing, atmosphere, and more.  I certainly feel there is a comfortable, necessary overlap of  Art and Science!

3 – And another Art-and-Science connection — The Shuttle is, after all, covered with CERAMIC TILES!!

The Pottery:

So, to expand on all those tiles covering the Shuttle, I’m sharing two tiles of my own.  Two Maasha Tiles — Wheel-thrown, cut and reshaped, soda fired with slips and glazes.  I don’t think they’d work too well on the shuttle — But, as abstract art, they do look like they’re ready to fly away somewhere.  Actually, I consider them tiles, but they’re great for serving Sushi.

Finally, to those involved in the space program for so many years, the astronauts, the pioneers — Thanks for the dedication, the accomplishments!  And safe journey!!

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