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Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio


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#21 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:43 AM

"other" for me, which I cannot explain without a bunch of techno-blather. Suffice to say I have spent seven year studying every aspect of crystalline glaze and the clay body it goes on. Two + years ago it occurred to me that the porcelain was causing just as much problems as the glaze. This summer I will actually put all that study to use and make things. Unless my calculations are wrong (they are not ) I should see some dramatic results.

 

Nerd

 

side note: of course my throwing skills will have to greatly increase as well.

 

 

I'll anxiously await your post with pictures of your successes! 

Have a great Sping then summer.

Marcia


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#22 oldlady

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:46 AM

i just realized that nobody has mentioned blowing up a bottle.  those of us with 30/40 years experience may remember the forms with the overblown balloon look and tiny neck.  pres and marcia's commemts make me remember that phase of working.

 

to make them, we threw a bottle shape and then used our breath to "blow up" the clay shape.  if the clay was evenly thrown, if we had enough air in our lungs, if there was no weak spot somewhere, then the bottle would expand evenly all the way around.  a quick wipe with a wet cloth and our lips were clean.  a quick touch-up to the neck straightened it.  you can imagine what happened if there was a weak spot or if the clay was too thickly thrown.

 

try it sometime.


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#23 Pres

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

Old Lady, good reminder, never done it, but remember it.

 

best,

Pres


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#24 Magnolia Mud Research

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

Pres posed:

So  what ceramic attribute drives your work in the studio, is it Form, Surface, Size or some other attribute I have not mentioned? ... don't just name it, explain why.
 
Short answer: Ambiguity & Story

'Cause:

I make pieces that allow  viewers (users) to create a story from what the they 'think' they see.  Surface, form, size, texture, color, etc. are just data to be interpreted by the viewer.
 
Present the minimum amount of data so that the viewer can create her (his) own story(ies); my story does not matter. 
 
Think like an artist, execute like an engineer. 
Know the limitations but be willing to test those limits.  As the very old ad line said, "Try it, you'll like it ..."  plus "it's only dirt" are the guidelines for the studio.
 
Sometimes a notion (or concept) of a story leads to interesting pots; as are questions regarding non-standard techniques -- such as laminating native sandy clay bodies onto porcelain drinking vessels or using cone 04 clay bodies as glaze on cone 10 ware.
 
'Experiments' produce pots - until boredom intervenes and inspires a switch to another line of inquiry. 
 
Basically, I start with a 'hunk' of clay and go from there.  A small lump will be squeezed into a shape nicknamed 'critter'; a larger lump may be thrown into a bowl or bottle shape and then ....

 

Size is constrained by kiln size, drying time, storage space.  

My most often used initial forms are drinking cylinders, bottles, bowls, and "warped" slabs.  
 
As regards function, I was trained that any object is a hammer, except the screwdriver; it is a chisel! 

i.e., function is assigned by the user, not the maker.
 
LT



#25 GiselleNo5

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

 

 

 If I dislike a texture I will actually "wipe" the unpleasant feeling off my hand. 

 

Oh yes, me too.  Sitting here cringing with the thought of some yukky textures.

 

 

Polyester knit. The shiny stuff. Ooh, I have goosebumps all over just thinking about it. :( 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#26 What?

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

It is about form. Then surface. When these two compliment each other you have the wow factor. I have been drawn toward wood fired pottery for a while now. I have no experience with this firing process but look forward to some workshops in the future. I also am becoming more interested in the chemistry make up of glazes and what influences them. I am impressed with the fantastic drawings and artwork on pieces but am more inclined to study and look at work that I myself could possibly make. I am a craftsman no artist.



#27 GiselleNo5

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

Giselle, often what we admire is not what we make. I look at many pieces in galleries that are so well done like beautiful round crystalline glazed bottles or raku pieces that have fabulous natural cracking surfaces or Wood fired pots with the flow of the flame eternally etched in the surface. . .in awe and speechless to be able to describe how I feel. However, at this point in time they are not what I would do, or can do. I make some semi sculptural pieces that appeal to me, but mostly functional pieces for others and my family to use. 

 

I feel the same way. Wood-fired pieces as well as crystalline pottery leaves me in awe. I always think that perhaps sometime in the future I will move on to working with one or the other of those processes. You just never know and there are infinite little byways and detours to keep one busy with ceramics. :) 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#28 GiselleNo5

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:26 PM

i just realized that nobody has mentioned blowing up a bottle.  those of us with 30/40 years experience may remember the forms with the overblown balloon look and tiny neck.  pres and marcia's commemts make me remember that phase of working.

 

to make them, we threw a bottle shape and then used our breath to "blow up" the clay shape.  if the clay was evenly thrown, if we had enough air in our lungs, if there was no weak spot somewhere, then the bottle would expand evenly all the way around.  a quick wipe with a wet cloth and our lips were clean.  a quick touch-up to the neck straightened it.  you can imagine what happened if there was a weak spot or if the clay was too thickly thrown.

 

try it sometime.

 

 

I haven't done exactly that but I have saved a couple of pots that were starting to collapse by blowing them back up. :) 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

https://www.giselleno5ceramics.com/

GiselleNo5.etsy.com

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#29 RonSa

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 08:39 AM

For me form is always primary, if the form is not there than function or surface doesn't really matter.

 

If there is a mug or a teapot with an unpleasing form, would you still want to purchase or use it even if the glaze (surface) is perfect? Of course pleasing or unpleasing is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Now if you have a beautiful form along with a beautiful surface you have a winner.


Ron


#30 Pres

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:05 AM

Yet if that beautiful teapot form pours poorly, or the handle is uncomfortable, or the lid falls off unless held on, or the tea gets cold too quickly, of what use is the teapot except to sit on a shelf. Yes, form is important to me, as is surface. When looking in galleries those are the things that catch my eye, but when it comes down to really making a decision to buy. . . I'll ask for pitcher of water when buying a teapot! :P

 

 

best,

Pres


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#31 RonSa

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

Yet if that beautiful teapot form pours poorly, or the handle is uncomfortable, or the lid falls off unless held on, or the tea gets cold too quickly, of what use is the teapot except to sit on a shelf.

 

Isn't all that a part of form? No amount of surface decoration or pretty glaze is going to fix that.

 

So maybe a question might be,  'Is how a item operates a function or form?' I'm thinking it could be argued either way.


Ron


#32 Pres

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:48 PM

Yes, your point taken, but then does that account for sculptural teapots, or the Super functional ones that no one in their right mind would use as they are 2 feet tall? 

 

 

best,

Pres


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#33 RonSa

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 06:33 PM

Successful sculpture is still about form as is a 24" teapot if it wants to look good and not become a coat hanger.


Ron


#34 GiselleNo5

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 07:18 PM

Um ... you guys DON'T drink five gallons of tea at one sitting .... ??? Weird. 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#35 RonSa

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:34 AM

Only when the Mad Hatter comes to tea


Ron


#36 Pres

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 05:04 PM

Happened to remember, that i DID blow up pots to inflate them. However, it was when doing closed lidded one piece round boxes. I would close the form, notch for the lid, insert a straw about 1/3 of the way up the bottom of the pot and inflate the form slightly, giving more lift to the top, and a slight bulging to the sides. When leather hard, patch the straw hole and trim from there down to the base, finishing the form.

 

 

 

best,

Pres


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/




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