Thursday, March 4, 2010

Continued Direction

I have continued in this new direction. I have been making some pots and just trying out new techniques. I feel like I am getting back into the fun of making pots rather than the routine restricted feeling that I have been stuck with for a while. I have been trying everything that comes to mind without dismissing ideas because "they don't fit my style". I like the idea of taking something and making it your own, in this case a certain technique. One of my main concerns at this point is texture. I like the idea of showing the textures that are left behind in the making process. My favorite being trimming lines/marks. These being the almost horizontal facets that a wide loop tool creates. I feel that, when done right, these lines show confidence and spontaneity.

Another technique that I have been working with is paddling. After making a couple of pots, the technique that I found works best for my desired result is as fallows. A bulbous form is thrown to the desired final shape (maybe a little less bulbous than desired). Then, before turning the pot over to allow the foot to dry (for me the next day) the pot is re centered on the wheel and, with a hand supporting the inside, beaten with a textured paddle. Then, a rib is used to push the form out from the inside to make the pot round again as well as finalize the shape. The pot is then allowed to dry further and is trimmed and finished the same as any other pot. I am still working out how to make bottles and other small necked pots with this technique. It is also difficult to do with smaller pots.

I have been using up some porcelain that has been sitting around for a while. A couple of months ago I was considering switching to working exclusively in porcelain (why I have porcelain). I eventually decided that I did not want to make the switch. The two pots above (lidded bowl and small bottle) were made from some "poor mans porcelain" that I tried out. The body is called "Hanjiki Porcelain" and is made by Georgie's Ceramic Supply.

Another change I am working on with this new direction is the feet of my pots. Before I would add two parallel concentric lines to the inside and outside of the foot ring and then sign and date it. I am currently favoring this style of foot. I trim the foot the same as I used to and then "mess up" the outer edge of the foot with my fingers. I also made a stamp that is simple but effective. I think that with this "new direction" I am trying to convey a more simple look, stripping the pot of many unnecessary details to allow the form and surfaces to stand out.
I think that my main idea is to capture the "done with ease factor", "Rakuness" as Soldner would say. Although it may be ironic to talk about something that I want to seem natural or easily well done(for lack of a better term) I think that it is a point worth mentioning. I am (very clearly) having trouble putting this into words, but that is why I am a potter not a writer.

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