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Mark C.

Do You Eat Off Your Own Pots Everyday ?

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My dinnerware thread got me thinking-Do you use your own wares to eat off every day.

I use my own flatware -plates and some bowls but I use other potters mugs and bowls to drink and eat from.

what do you use?

Handmade pots or commercial wares?

We own very few commercial ceramics.

Mark

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own fault stuff, mugs from everyone, commercial dinner plats own bowls, never happy with my own plates.

Bake in own casseroles and dishes, serve in own dishes, no sets person here. But they all seem to sit ok together. Guests often go home with a dish of sorts , yes, room for another one..

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I have a yunomi that I drink OJ out of every morning from Akira Satake. My wife is rather nervous of me drinking out of a 100 dollar cup, but I didn't buy it to have it collect dust. It reminds me of what I want to look for in my work every morning.

 

I haven't made my own dinnerware stuff to eat off of yet, because I haven't had a glaze that I liked enough to look at every day until my last firing. So I plan on making my own dinnerware very soon.

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We have been eating off a dinnerware set I made about 10 years ago.  I went shopping to buy a set of dishes and found some Fiesta Ware on sale I looked at it closely and notice the the foot of the plates were scratching the top glaze just from being stacked.  I thought I can do better than this, so I used a durable blue glaze developed by Tony Hansen that is food safe.  I ended up with 8 place settings and a lot of bowls, it's also nice knowing you can replace one anytime you want.  Denice

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Everything but plates (I really do not like to make them). They are odds and ends from my whole 30 years of potting--newer ones are nicer but old ones are like old friends.  I also use all the pots I buy from travels and craft shows--none sit idle.  Nothing matches but all work together.

gord likes this

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Wife bought a new set of flatware several years ago, but it didn't have any saucers or small bowls.  I made 12 saucers and 12 small bowls almost matching

the glaze of the bought set.  Like most potters I have plenty of 2nd mugs that I call my outside mugs.  My favorite mug was given to me by one of my teachers years ago and it doesn't go outside for fear of breaking. 

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We use my work at some level just about every day.  Some is 1sts... a lot is 2'nds (I don't sell them....smash most).  Some pieces I have made 'just for us' (not forms or glazes that I sell).  Plates, bowls, mugs, serving pieces, stuff like soy sauce bottles, and so on get used almost daily if not daily. 

 

We also use other people's pieces a lot mixed in with mine.  We have a lot of work from Japan that gets used regularly. Nothing typically "matches" in the western sense of a "set of dishes".

 

Joseph mentioned above the idea of potential concern about using 'expensive' pieces.  I think that if they are intended as functional work, they are intended to be used.  Respected, and used with care, but still used.  If they aren't used, half their 'reason for being' is not realized.  I use stuff like yunomi from artists from Japan that are in the $1000 range kinda' regularly.  They certainly aren't "piled in the sink" after use ;).  I use Yixing teapots (decent ones....$500-600 range) for brewing good tea like pu'er.  Decent Chawan and chaire and mizusashi for serving matcha.  And so on. 

 

Have I ever broken any?  Yup.  Not often... but it has happened.  (That is where kintsugi comes in.)

 

If we, as makers of functional objects, believe the idea that the things we make add value to life and increase the enjoyment of activities like eating and drinking, then we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of the opportunity we have to partake of that benefit.  And if we do not use our own work, and that of others, we are missing a valuable learning opportunity to assess the success of various pieces to accomplish the aforementioned goals.

 

I have pieces in a number of museum collections.  They are intended as functional objects. While it is a great honor of course to have that happen, there is a little "pang" of regret I always have knowing that the work will be locked away in a glass case, never to attain the goals of what it was intended to be.  Never to be truly realized in its fullness.

 

best,

 

...................john

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A resounding yes. I have been using my own dishes for about 10 years. I have been a potter for about 15. My dinner plates though glazed the same are all different, my first attempts at making large plates in a set. I have my favorites in this group, but I love them all for their quirkiness. Over the years I have made sets of other sized dishes, I hardly use anything mass produced. I have a collection of mugs from other potters.

tb001 likes this

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Plates and side plates are commercial. My plates are too heavy for daily use. Mugs are all different and made by me and others. The kids have mugs by other artists. Each has a favourite. We use  my side plates for special dinners. I am currently making side plates, so have some in the studio for decorating reference. Two teapots we use have a busted lid and a mismatched lid.

We have three teapots on our door step. Don't have the heart to toss them.

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I have and use some of my own mugs, bowls, vases, candle holders, small serving dishes,  BUT, and here comes confession time...my cabinet also contains corel.  With not much cabinet space...the corel is non bulky, stacks to take up very little space, and lasts forever.  Sometimes I use something for a while, then sell it.

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WE use garlic jars, serving bowls to hold fruit, small bowls for serving salsa and guac, a platter now and then for holiday spreads.

As far as eating out of heavy stoneware or even drinking coffee, nope.

I like out tough and smooth Emeril dinnerware.

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Mugs are a collection of my own seconds and purchases from friends. I have a sugar bowl that is used so much I can't reglue the knob back on the lid anymore. Plates are my seconds, bowls are mostly from college except for the 4 I snagged out of a batch of 24 because the kids do what kids do, and break stuff. I did break down 2 years ago and buy a set of 4 place settings in plain white stoneware because my in-laws were living with us and we didn't have enough dishes to get through a day. The in laws moved out, and the white stoneware is in my storage room. It comes out for emergencies, like gatherings of more than 12.

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I have a collection of bowls going on. Some are mine.  My main dinnerware set is a golden yellow set from world market. Most of them have chips as opposed to the handmade items.  I do intend to make a set for myself in the future (to replace the world market crap)  but I haven't had time.

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We use a couple of my mugs, and I made a few plates for my son two years ago. We use them every single day. I've also made him a few little bowls here and there. Now that my throwing is finally consistent, I'm in the process of making him three proper sets with bowl, tumbler, plate, and then three extra tumblers. That will give us a good rotation and his current multi-sized set can go to his little cousin.

We've been eating off of (chipped) dollar store plates for years. My last cereal bowl broke, and my husband said, "You know, it's too bad ... I wish you knew somebody, a potter maybe, who could make us some bowls." LOL So up next on my list is to throw a set of bowls and slip cast dinner and salad plates for our house. I don't like matchy-matchy stuff, I pick the plate I eat from based on my mood, so I'm going to do different slip trailing and different colors on each one. Mix and match! But they'll still go together. I'm very excited about this project, I plan to start it around mid-December when I start refusing to ship any more rush orders. :)

 

I love stoneware because it's so much more durable than the earthenware widely available. 

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Great question Mark! Too bad I didn't think of it for my QOTW! :lol: Next time you have a great idea for a topic, drop me a line....

 

Since I don't do dinnerware, no, we don't eat out of selfmade pieces. But I am drinking 1x tea out of every Chawan I made, to test whether the feeling for the lips, and whether the form and weight are all right.

 

Evelyne

JBaymore likes this

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I eat off handmade dinnerware every day, primarily pieces from Silvie Granatelli (who made our wedding set), Mark Hewitt, Daniel Johnston, and Michael Hunt/Naomi Dalglish.  I have a smattering of my own work that is mixed in along with pieces from other potters  I probably use something of mine each day.  While I enjoy eating off of and out of my pots, there is way too much nice work out there to be limited to one maker.

 

However, the thought of using only my pieces to serve Thanksgiving this year made me smile.   Time to get washing since the big event is tomorrow.

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yes.  mugs lots as they are a convenient testing platform for my ongoing experiements with bodies and glazes (but not the liner glaze! :P ). 

 

And larger serving bowls which have found favour with the master of ceremonies of the house.

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Oh of course!  As a functional potter, wouldn't I be betraying the core beliefs I hold about art if I didn't use my own stuff everyday?

 

As John B. said above, functional work that isn't used is not fulfilling its purpose as either art or utensil.  Ceramic Monthly once published a fairly cranky essay from me on this very subject.  I got irritable about the then-popular meme of extracting function from pots (the example I used was 2-dimensional pitchers) in order to claim that this enhanced their value as art objects.

 

And also, I might point out that if you don't use your own stuff constantly, you miss out on a huge learning opportunity.  Many times I've observed some flaw in my work, and as a result, tried to fix that flaw in my ongoing work.  There's a good bit of truth in the notion that potters who don't cook don't do functional work as well as potters who do cook.  That, I think, is because potters who cook have more opportunities to use their own wares in the kitchen.

TallTayl, Miss B, Surubee and 1 other like this

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And also, I might point out that if you don't use your own stuff constantly, you miss out on a huge learning opportunity.  Many times I've observed some flaw in my work, and as a result, tried to fix that flaw in my ongoing work.  There's a good bit of truth in the notion that potters who don't cook don't do functional work as well as potters who do cook.  That, I think, is because potters who cook have more opportunities to use their own wares in the kitchen.

 

This is a very interesting thought! I definitely come up with ideas for pottery very frequently when I'm cooking. I look around and think what I want and then make it. Of course I usually make it for someone else but now, see, I'm PRODUCT TESTING if I make my set of dinnerware. ;) 

LaRae likes this

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