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MadMudder

Surface Decoration or, making the same thing over and over

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So, you finally find a couple designs you like. I have some designs for bird baths and other large pots that I really like and want to use them frequently.

 

However, I don't want my work to look the same.

 

It is really hard to make the same thing over and over. Of course things change with each firing a little but it somehow seems like cheating to me to really embrace a design and just go for it. Is it a "sin" to make anything more than once or twice?

 

How do you guys out there handle this issue?

 

Is it a large concern for anyone else?

 

B

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So, you finally find a couple designs you like. I have some designs for bird baths and other large pots that I really like and want to use them frequently.

 

However, I don't want my work to look the same.

 

It is really hard to make the same thing over and over. Of course things change with each firing a little but it somehow seems like cheating to me to really embrace a design and just go for it. Is it a "sin" to make anything more than once or twice?

 

How do you guys out there handle this issue?

 

Is it a large concern for anyone else?

 

B

 

 

As a production potter-my answer is if you can feel ok about it and the market wants its -then its fine-

I have been making the same forms give or take for 35 years-they sell extremely well and thats why I make them

I no longer do custom one of a kind for customers.

Mark

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I think making a design over and over again you can make subtle changes and tweak the design as you go is ideal. I'm not very good at that, I get bored with it and want to move on, I wish I could stay with a design a little longer and make it perfect. Denice

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If you want to be "known" then you have to keep a recognizable look ... which means you have found some facet of pottery you can explore for years and perhaps a whole career.

Think of the potters whose work you recognize immediately ... It's because they have a signature style. They are fortunate in a way in that they have found something that interests them on a hundred different levels.

Some have a style that seems static ... One of their pots from 25 years ago looks pretty much like one from last week .... others evolve with surprising twists - you still know its them but wow, look what they did!

You can find your style by trying as many areas of pottery as you can until one grabs you. Grabs you for a while or forever.

In another post I put images of pots of mine that I have kept ... Mostly because they represent something I tried but don't do anymore but I still like the memories. Raku ... Done. Functional ... Done ... Birdhouses ... Done ..

Colored porcelain ... 20 years and not even scratching the surface of done!

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I think making a design over and over again you can make subtle changes and tweak the design as you go is ideal.

 

As a noob I am finding that making adjustments within the same basic design/theme allows me to see how subtle changes can produce differing end results in appearance, durability and weight/feel. I admire the folks who can >one-off< a really quality looking end product but I don't have the skill/expertise/history to do such a thing and feel that if I were to make something completely different everytime I'd probably never figure out why this shape handle cracks and that one doesn't/etc. For me, making the same basic thing over and over is a great learning tool.

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I make a line of functional decorative pottery- teapots, mugs, bakers, bowls, jars. Because I teach highschool art full time, I don't feel that I have maybe progressed in changing my style as quickly as maybe I should have. I think about making pots all the time, and draw ideas on scraps of paper. I decorate all of my work-brush decoration on stoneware and porcelain. over a matt glaze. I use four glazes, a white matt, a purple, a Shino, and a Korean Celadon that I make out of slops. Since I just moved my studio, I am thinking about doing some Majolica. I like my shapes, but I am always tweeking the form and the decoration.

If you can find a motif that you like, like a leaf, or a sheaf of wheat and it fits your form, make it yours!

TJR.

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