Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The first of many, and cleaning time.

Hey there fellow pottery enthusiasts! This week we'll start a new tradition. Every Thursday I'll try to mention two potters whose work is inspiring me. The number of incredible contemporary potters is truly a vast and deep well filled with awesome pots! So let's jump in with this weeks artists. 

“If I don’t love and encourage a piece of clay, if I don’t help it inch its way along to become the most beautiful thing I want it to become, it’s sort of a futile process to me. The need to feel all of this as humans [support and encouragement] is synonymous to making a pot because it’s intimate in the same sort of way.”  - Matthew McGovern  

Matthew McGovern is one of the potters I've been paying particular attention to this week. The images of his pots have a peaceful quietness to them that is outstanding. He manipulates slip on the outside of his forms with outstanding results. I rarely attempt this for of decoration but whenever I see results like this I can't help but long to try my hand at it. Along with Matthew I've been looking at the wood fired work of Kurt Teeter. Teeter studied in MFA program in at West Virginia University. I heard about Teeter from my mother, and after first opening his web page I've had the colors of his pots in my mind. Especially the earthy deep blues of the pot pictured below. 

They are just the best kind soft. To my eyes the interplay of line between the uneven edge of the pot and the blocking of color and lined texture above it. Just visually wonderful and stimulating to me.

It's been a strange week in the studio. It is test week which means there is only about a 50 % chance that I'll make it into the studio. Unfortunately, at least two days this week have had me banished via locked doors and missing keys (you wouldn't think that could be a problem) to the silence of an empty staff room and the endless digital wastes of the internet. This time was immediately put to finding new potters and pottery articles to read up on. On Monday I cleaned EVERYTHING. The ever growing mound of cast off trimmings was beginning to take on a life of its own, so it was time for a fresh start.

 I did manage to glaze pots and load the kiln for a small glaze firing that will be on track to open on Monday.

In a somewhat out of character move there ended up being a lot of blues and greens in this batch of firing. Something in the pots made me want to play with color in a more experimental way than I typically do. I think that I am naturally drawn to earthen tones, and natural glazes. Glossy colored glazes typically turn my eye (just not my style), but I also think there is room for a new level of layering that I have trouble achieving with my matted glazes. I'm hoping that the under-glazes and brushwork I attempted to practice will shine through the semi transparent blues and greens I glazed with this time. That's right brush work and glossy! . . . Where did Andrew go?. . . I know right.

Hey, growth requires experimentation.

The last push of creation and experimentation this week was another attempt at dialing in what an A. Sartorius Ceramics tea pot will look like. Right now this is what is coming off the wheel. For me, it's not there. In rare form I like the handle and the curve of the body, but the lid and the spout need more work. None the less, progress!

To wrap up this week's post. Go experiment. Try something new. Stretch your comfort zones and create something new. It's the only real way to grow, and I am certainly am seeking growth more than anything else.

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