Paul Soldner, California ceramicist known for American raku, dies at 89

“Soldner, who embraced the beauty of the accidental and unpredictable, saw it as a fundamentally Japanese aesthetic. “In the West, there is this emphasis on perfection. Something that cracks is considered a mistake,” he told a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News in 1997, adding that the same “flaw” in the East might be called a “crackle.” “It’s no different than the approach to taming the outdoors. In the West, when you make a garden, you throw the rocks out. In the East, you bring the rocks back in.”