Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Lessons in Pottery

I will be posting more info on my Pottery Lessons within the next week.

But that's not what I mean in this title.
This post is about me learning something about myself.

As with most potters I get asked the question

" Do you make it in Blue"?
I do have an answer to that question in my mind, that always wants
to rush out, but I can't put that on here.

So I trialed some blue slip last week.
Below are two samples of one blue slip 99% Ball Clay & 1% Cobalt Oxide.

The two bowls are both just 100% Ball clay Slip
one with a light honey glaze and one with a clear glaze

and the blue slip samples in front are with the same glazes.
Personally I don't like either of them, but Marion likes them, she Say's that they are very Victorian in colour, and thinking of it that way I can see the attraction.
But It still goes against the grain in my mind.

This on the other hand, this one makes you want to pick it up and hold it.
and this.
This looks like it's been wood fired, but it's just the way
I position other pots in the kiln around them.

Now here is Lesson Two out of today's firing.

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted a blog
(2nd November)
about trying to create a slip resist leaf design that looked like
an Autumn leaf,
Well here it is fresh out of the kiln

The Idea worked a treat,
but it is not something I intend to ever do again.
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to do it.

I decided some time ago that
if I was going to be a potter with any credibility
and integrity then.

"I am only going to do, what I feel to be true to myself."

If I can stick to this, at least I will be able to sleep at nights.
I know most of the people that read this are either artists or craftsmen
and I know that sometimes in life we have to do, or make things that we
are not entirely happy about,
because as we all know, Money makes the world go around.
But I'm still going to stick to this Mantra.

11 comments: said...

I'm going to print this out and put it in my studio for reminding when I start making those damned Christmas ornaments next year! I don't like making them, they take forever and sell for $5, and yet I keep making them, why? This week was all lessons for me as well, and by the new year I hope to be on a more refined path. Your post will be a good reminder for me to stay on that path :)
By the way, I really like the blue, haha! The one on the left is the color of my living room, the one on the right is nearly the color of Mark Hewitt's living room. The color looks great with his pottery as well as some of the Cardew pots he has around. It might make a nice accent color for you. Blue is small bits can be very nice on pots.

Lori Buff said...

I was thinking the same thing as Tracey; I should hang this up in my studio. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, the debate is about making stuff I know people will buy versus making the stuff I want to make. I am trying to believe that if I make something that makes me happy than certainly someone else will like it also, because it will be genuine.
I do like the leaf effect but it is rather different than the other work of yours that I have seen. Sometimes it's fun to just play with something new.

Vicki said...

Lovely leaf cup-- and when you said you don't have to make it again, it struck a chord. You are right, and it is too easy to feel like we have to explore everything that works out.

brandon said...

tend to agree with you... i'm the only potter in a small town and still pretty young, i encounter this often. i often think some people like the idea of handmade ceramics but they don't understand that the potter develops their own style and instead of finding a style that conforms to their desires they just try to bully potters to do something that while pleases the customer really isn't what the potter does... if that makes sense... just a thought on this "phenomenon".

Hannah said...

Just had someone in this morning, driven for an hour and half through hellish weather to come and see me and my pots, she studied the whole collection that's in the workshop and good god that is some amount of pots at the moment and then she said so I'd like a commemorative plate please, in blue.
I feel like saying now look around again and you tell me if you think I do it in blue.
Deep breath and count to ten.

Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

yEs!!! Words of wisdom for sure :)
Sunday I had a lady ask me if I could make a modern plant pot. What the heck is that? She said it's shaped like an egg and pure white. In a back woods accent I responded to her.. "What cha all see is what I's got". I turned away and rolled my eyes.

Anna said...

The blue comments just crack me up! :)

Christine--RHP said...

yeah--I agree with everyone there as well. For YEARS I refused to even test a blue glaze. (actually, I refused to test any glazes, but that's another story...) and just this past January, after my kiln broke down I said I would turn over a new leaf and test some new glazes and try to freshen up my work a bit. Well, one of those glazes is a blue. And this year's reduction of my debts is mostly due to the consistant sales of wares in that blue glaze. So after holding out for 12 years, I feel like I can capitalize on the poplularity of blue--and I found a blue that I really fell in love with and would display in my own home.
(and you'll never guess how often I get asked "this blue is nice, but do you do it in green?")

I like both your blues.

paul jessop said...

I had my two blue samples in the showroom this weekend and I took an order for 4 mugs in Blue. I couldn't believe it when I said yes I would do it.

I Can't belive that when you have blue they ask for green, That's just plain crazy.
It's all about finding a colour that you like.

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