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QotW: Do you have favorite shapes or forms in your work?

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 Forms seem to be a common thread of interest lately, as we had the last question asking about Masculine or Feminine forms. Gabby lately asked:  Do you have favorite shapes or forms now in your work? If you do, how have these favorites changed over time? (What made me think of this was the current discussion of throwing huge planter pots, because I can see that is of great interest to some and of no interest to me- neither the very, very large nor the very small and light).

This is something that I have often considered in my own work. Years ago, I threw a lot of narrow rising, high belly, tight shoulder with short neck jars. These were almost inverted pear shapes. Mugs were much the same. Then there was the car cup craze, before cup holders where you had a neoprene pad on a wide based mug form. These caused me to rethink forms a bit, and I started throwing some forms that were more pear like in form. I always have had a tendency to follow the Golden Mean, as an artist it just seemed to make sense. I used to surface with inglaze on an eggshell glaze for interesting textures through lace and other masks. Now I press/stamp the pots before shaping, thinking about how I will shape the form so as not to punch through the wall while shaping. I also like to have the form with texture vs smooth, and use shoulder accents often to establish and slow the eye movement through the form. So things are changing, but at the same time, when throwing large, I still prefer the narrower base high belly forms. Need to create some of these with the stamping textures for some new stuff.

 

best,

Pres

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Recently (January) I drove 500 miles to a family friends 90th birthday. He was an important figure in my upbringing and was still very sharp living at a facility that does not yet care for him but will when he needs it. He was an architect his whole life.

He had 2 pots of mine from the middle 70's and I really saw my style had changed dramatically since then. My feet, my forms, my handles -everything. He also has a pot from my older brother who is long gone (died 1971) from his summer class with Paul Soldner in Pasadena in 69.

It was a real eye opener. They where bigender pots I made about 6 years into being a potter.One was a casserole -the other was a vase.

I had some areas unglazed on the outside and by the looks of things like darker colors back then-the pots where stoneware as well.

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While I am new to making pottery, having first sat at a wheel only one year ago, I have had decades to notice that I am drawn to particular shapes of things much more than to others.  For example at a craft exhibition, you would not see me standing long before bud vases or anything tall and thin.

I am looking as I write at a sheet I got off the internet of the 23 classic shapes of tea bowls, which is what I am mostly doing at present. Broadly speaking they are of two types with specific function in mind. The winter shapes have a smaller opening relative to volume than the spring shapes, because the smaller surface area of liquid keeps the beverage hot longer. But function aside, I find that I prefer the winter shapes for their steeper sides, say those with an angle relative to the horizontal of 60 to 90 degrees. And I like proportions that are somewhere between square/round and golden ratio.  As I have written elsewhere, I am more inclined to the rhino or hippo than to the giraffe or the gazelle.

The "wooden bowl shape" on my sheet is close to a half sphere. The Goki type looks similar but with more jowl at the bottom. The half cylinder is what it sounds like and wider than it is tall. There are waisted types of these which differ only by being brought in slightly at the middle. I like all these shapes more than I like the shapes with the ever widening mouths, curved or straight lip, like the summer bowls.

I prefer a sturdy look to a delicate look and usually texture over smooth.

 

Edited by Gabby

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I seem to have a 20 year fixation with small lidded jars.  It started about my third year in college, and has been a form I've worked with off and on ever since. That, and mugs. So.  Many. Variations. For both of those forms. 

I went through a depression several years ago now, and I wasn't able to make a whole heck of lot, but I knew it was important to me to keep making.  I thought, well, the simplest thing to make is a cylinder. I didn't really just want to throw plain cylinders and scrap them, so I decided just to add a handle so I could feel like I was doing something productive.  So consequently, I can make mugs no matter how much I may not feel like doing anything. I'll usually start a work cycle with them, because it gets me into a rythm of moving, which allows me to make the next thing, and the next thing...etc,

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Earthy, unsophisticated, free formed, flaws pushed, raggedy, elegant in a deceptive, subtle, kind of vibe.  Don't care about forms per se, and don't throw much-usually squat, heavy, flat-footed containers; used to do straight-up traditional mugs & bowls-more interested now in the surface/texture/coloration of handwork.  I do have a small box form I enjoy making -it is unstructured, with a roughly dug/excavated interior and a thick curved roof (a cut lid).

 

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Spiky fish. Vessels with wavy rims. Anthropomorphic creatures. Ammonites. Anomalocarus. Rafflesia. Alien flora. 

I've always been interested in the idea of "weird" lifeforms: from likely-future bio-engineering, earth's deep time past, or just speculation. I've yet to work out exactly what I want to use, the message it would express, and how to carry off successful pieces. Figures of some kind  as well as wall art of some kind definitely likely. 

Edited by yappystudent

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