Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mugs Continued

I have been working on the same mug form and made a few changes. I changed the handle by making the bottom attachment similar to the top. I also made the handle a little bit thicker and wider. I really don't like small skimpy handles and I felt that the previous ones were a little thin for my liking. I have also been working more with throwing these off the hump. I found that I would cut them off so that the bottom was very thick. Since I do not want to trim these this was a problem. I think judging the thickness of the base will come through practice more than anything but I have definitely been paying more attention to it. I want the handles to taper to both ends. I want the bottom attachment to be the thickest and significantly larger than the top attachment.
I have also started to make a sort of travel mug shape. I am not interested in making big bulky travel mugs, in fact I really don't like the idea of travel mugs at all. My idea is to kind of mock the form of a "travel mug" but bring it down to a smaller size, and also tweak the proportions a little. Since I find these "travel mugs" big and ugly I thought it would be an interesting challenge to make some that I actually like.

I have also been working on a new yunomi form. This form is kind of inspired by a Michael Simon cup that I saw at Guillermo Cuellar's house. I think that it is a very interesting form with a lot of potential. My cups are definitely still in a very rough prototype stage but I am interested to see how they work out. I like how the foot kind of stands out in the profile of the cup.

I have been looking at a lot of Michael Simon pots lately. I think Michael is probably one of my favorite potters. I think he is very under appreciated currently, it is pretty obvious when looking at his pots to see how many people have been inspired, or flat out copied them.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Working on Mugs

I have started to work on a new mug form. Its kind of Ruggles&Rankin/Clary Illian/Sequoia Miller inspired. This mug form is pretty different than the mugs I have been making recently (Simon's mugs). I just got back from a trip, which I will write all about soon (I promise Ryan). Anyways, this trip made me think a lot about the pots I am making and the pots that I want to make. Being surrounded by a lot of good pots and potters made me think a lot about what makes a good pot. This is kind of an unanswerable question but it is very thought provoking.

The point that I am trying to get at is that I am back in a very "investigative" place in making pots. I am trying lots of new things and following lots of new influences. I am very excited about these new influences and new ideas to try out. This has caused me to get back into the mode were all I want to do is make pots. I am trying new things with clay bodies and also I have been throwing almost everything off the hump. I was inspired to throw and trim off the hump by Simon. He throws most of his pots off the hump, including plates.

Throwing off the hump can be difficult to begin with but provides many advantages in my opinion. There are the obvious benefits of not having to make individual balls of clay and increasing how fast you can make pots. But for me one of the biggest things is that the pot is raised up on a pedestal of sorts (the hump). This allows you to see the pot from a more objective angle while you are throwing it. I also like the freedom of making many pots quickly and I also like the process and the marks left from cutting the pot off the hump.

Trimming off the hump (soft clay chuck) allows you to keep the pot steady without using wads and without flattening the rim by sticking it to the wheel head. The pot also moves around a little which allows you to have a little more movement in your pots.

I believe that working in this way, using the processes described above, allows me to move closer to making the pots that I like. I have a lot more ideas I am currently working on and I will share them with you soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Arizona Pots

(stoneware with flashing slip- small train)
(porcelain with flashing slip- wood-soda/double cat)
(stoneware- side stoke of double wide train)

Here are some finished pots form my Arizona trip. I have plenty more pots from my trip but I thought these were the best. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about the pots/firings etc.