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Chris Campbell

Do you see the firing of your pots as a critical step in the final piece or is it simply the last step? | March 19, 2012

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One of my coolest clay memories is of walking into Kayo O'Young's studio to find it filled end to end, up and down, with large white porcelain pots. They filled the drying cupboard, topped all the tables and heated or cooled in the kilns as they made their slow journey towards a one man show at the Gardner in Toronto. I was stunned by this scene reminiscent of a fresh snowfall on a winter day. I could not bear the idea that they would all soon be glazed with color since they seemed so perfect just as they were.

 

A month later I saw them at the show, finished with glazes that perfectly complimented the forms. With his eye and talent, they had become more than they were before. Needless to say, I could not have pulled off such of feat ... I would still be frozen by the imagined perfection of the white. How about you?

Do you see the firing of your pots as a critical step in the final piece or is it simply the last step?

 

To see some of Kayo's work : http://www.kayooyoung.com/gallery.htm

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It took me a long while, but I started to see the vast benefits of having a strong idea of how you will glaze a pot before the clay is started to be worked.

One can still change their mind in process (as happens with the forming, or even with the form), but you can take glazing further with good planning. One may incorporate how to hold a pot for dipping, "natural" break lines for one color or texture to another, where the glaze may run, and how to arrest it before it runs off the pot, on into/onto another glaze color, even how to make glazes interact with each other. So many possibilities to consider. Even to what clay to use.

 

By the way, there would be nothing wrong with seeing a whole group of pots, all white, in a show. Take away the color element and the form and texture move forward. In fact it might be rather breathtaking. Thanks for the thought, maybe I will be able to use that someday.

 

John

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It took me a long while, but I started to see the vast benefits of having a strong idea of how you will glaze a pot before the clay is started to be worked.

One can still change their mind in process (as happens with the forming, or even with the form), but you can take glazing further with good planning. One may incorporate how to hold a pot for dipping, "natural" break lines for one color or texture to another, where the glaze may run, and how to arrest it before it runs off the pot, on into/onto another glaze color, even how to make glazes interact with each other. So many possibilities to consider. Even to what clay to use.

 

By the way, there would be nothing wrong with seeing a whole group of pots, all white, in a show. Take away the color element and the form and texture move forward. In fact it might be rather breathtaking. Thanks for the thought, maybe I will be able to use that someday.

 

John

 

 

There was a show in Toronto a number of years ago at Prime Gallery where everything was white.Probably time for another one.

TJR.

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