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Mark C.

Pottery for Everyman

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Chantay    101

John stated:

The resurgance of interest in things Mingei (folk art or folk crafts... or the art of the people)...... was tightly tied into Japanese nationalism and even ultra-nationalism as the Japanese sought to re-assert their cultural identitity after years of the impact of westernization and a cultural crisis level loss of identity (look up the term "kokutai"). It actually was looking for a way to make true Japanese-ness highly valued in their own culture. That "high value" also meant the raising of the economic value of inherent Japanese-designed and made objects. It was NOT about keeping Japanese folks arts cheap... it was about raising their percieved value. THIS runs contrary to what most Westerners understand about this subject.

 

It is true that the roots of the folk arts being "re-discovered" (actively promoted as the "right way" of looking at the standards for objects, actually) were in generally inexpensively made objects for daily use by the masses. However, one of the implicit goals of this actively promoted interest (by not only arts organizations and individual artists but also the national government) was to stimulate economic development. And to raise the level of "nationalism" as japan sought to extend itself into the world. Mingei also was even being used to promote the nationalistic war efforts during the war (WWII). After whe war, there was a "Mingei Revival" movement.... as the Japanese sought to "find themselves" after the period of foreign occupation after the defeat of WWII. This "second wave" too was seen as a way to not only regain culture... but to also stimulate the economy.

 

Wish this could happen here in the US. I, along with several family members, work very hard to by American Made products. Sometimes it is more difficult than you can imagine. I think the resurgence of the farmers market and flee markets could be a small driving force that way.

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Nelly    16

I love the poster in the background in that video with the calligraphic Kanji for "clay" on it.

 

土

He's a great potter and a great teacher.

 

best,

 

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

 

 

That symbol looks like a cross.....Is that a sign?.....

 

He seems like a great potter and teacher. I'd just love to sit down, and have a conversation with him.

 

 

Dear All,

 

What an interesting discussion.

 

Just yesterday, a friend of mine came to visit. He said "your work is good but you are not going to make it with only focusing on functional pieces." He then pointed out some of the artistic work collected in my home. You know the stuff done by real potters who can command high prices for their work.

 

He said, they made it in the "big league" because they did something different rather than bowls, plates and mugs.

 

I found myself really thinking about it after he left. I wondered, do I make enough work that is non-functional or simply pieces that are for aesthetic reflection?? Am I in a functional rut??

 

I do not see myself now or in the future entering "the big league." I do this for relaxation and fun. I like my pieces to be held and used.

 

But there is still this nagging part of me that is saying, you may want to consider reaching out further and trying to extend your vision at least for a period of time to see where it takes you in moving away from functional ware. You know...try it for something new and different.

 

I still have three months left for the summer. Who knows...maybe I will try to move gently away and try more artistic sculptural pieces.

 

Nelly

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Nelly,

I find the idea that function or utility is some dividing line to be absurd. There are incredibly successful potters who are highly regarded (and command a nice sum for their work) who make functional pots. Make what you like, anyone who gets into object making to find fame, has in my mind, missed the point.

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Pres    896

Nelly,

I find the idea that function or utility is some dividing line to be absurd. There are incredibly successful potters who are highly regarded (and command a nice sum for their work) who make functional pots. Make what you like, anyone who gets into object making to find fame, has in my mind, missed the point.

 

 

Make what you like. . . is definitive. Why would one subject oneself to doing something other than what they like for the sake of fame and fortune. This especially true for clay. For me the pleasure of throwing a nice bowl(or other functional object) with smooth rounded interior curve with a healthy rim, and an exterior curve and weight that complements. . . aaaah! I do like to make the occasion or show piece for commission, shows, or friends, but always return to the joy of throwing and simple well made functional ware. Now if I can just get my dang glazes to work. . . .sad.gif never what I expectbiggrin.gif!

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Wyndham    98

An interesting discussion to be sure. The other part of this is that the customers do not know very much about clay.

One potter may make a 2 lb vessel and get $200 or more then another potter makes a wine chiller and get $30-$40

 

How or what is the customer to know. We have created something and want to share it with others.

 

 

Make what you want, price it for what you need.

 

Wyndham

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Roberta12    135

I love the poster in the background in that video with the calligraphic Kanji for "clay" on it.

 

土

He's a great potter and a great teacher.

 

best,

 

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

 

 

That symbol looks like a cross.....Is that a sign?.....

 

He seems like a great potter and teacher. I'd just love to sit down, and have a conversation with him.

 

Thanks to all for a great conversation. I have really enjoyed it. Thanks also for the Warren MacKenzie video. That was a nice way to start my day. We get to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan fairly often to see family. I think I am going to have to plan a St.Croix Valley pottery tour.

 

Roberta

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Nelly

 

I think you have a good friend there who has challenged you with some interesting ideas to think about. These ideas are even now percolating and who knows where they will take you? You even recognize a bit of restlessness in yourself .....

 

"But there is still this nagging part of me that is saying, you may want to consider reaching out further and trying to extend your vision at least for a period of time to see where it takes you in moving away from functional ware. You know...try it for something new and different."

My advice would be to follow your heart for a few months and see where it takes you. Three months is not a long time but it could be a watershed time for you with not much risk. I have done this a few times and never regretted the journey. I currently have a good potter friend who is emerging on the other side with a wonderful line of work that expresses her so much more fully than her earlier pieces.

 

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. I don't think it is so much a case of functional vs non functional, as it is a question of pushing yourself and making work that satisfies you.

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Benzine    610

One thing that always interests me about watching production potters work, especially those, who throw off the hump, is how they lift the pieces off immediately. I usually let my sit for a while, on the bat/ wheel head, before cutting them off.

 

Doesn't this distort the form a bit, or is it relatively negligible?

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JBaymore    1,432
Doesn't this distort the form a bit, or is it relatively negligible?

 

If I'm LUCKY it distorts it jut right. cool.gif

 

best,

 

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

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Pres    896

One thing that always interests me about watching production potters work, especially those, who throw off the hump, is how they lift the pieces off immediately. I usually let my sit for a while, on the bat/ wheel head, before cutting them off.

 

Doesn't this distort the form a bit, or is it relatively negligible?

 

 

I usually remove any vessels, lids, or such by marking the cut area with a wooden rib then using an old time flat butter knife to cut through and remove at the same time. It took me a little practice to get the hang of it, but it really works well now.

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Heidi K    2

One thing that always interests me about watching production potters work, especially those, who throw off the hump, is how they lift the pieces off immediately. I usually let my sit for a while, on the bat/ wheel head, before cutting them off.

 

Doesn't this distort the form a bit, or is it relatively negligible?

 

 

I haven't done too much throwing off the hump over the years, but I've started doing it again recently just to reevaluate my feelings about it. It's crazy how the pieces can get quite distorted when I'm transporting them to the bat (and mostly return to thrown shape when set down), and yet come out of the kiln without any sign of warping. For once, the clay seems to remember the shape I WANT it to remember.

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I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

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Benzine    610

I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

 

 

I see a lot of people making knitting bowls. I honestly didn't know there were that many people, who were into knitting.

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TJR    359

Nelly;

Sometimes we are FORCED to break out of our rut. I have made some jumps in my work, e.g., moving out of stoneware and into earthenware, and then Majolica. This last winter, I decided to only do hand building, after the rush of Christmas. I made a couple of plaster press molds, and was even considering slip casting. I made a series of coil built planters from my mold-one a day. I also made some Styrofoam press molds, and I really liked the results of the slab trays. I incorporated all the "happy accidents" of mark making. Each one became a little painting. I priced them accordingly.I sold quite a few at my spring sale. Now I am back throwing, but I have a whole new dimension to my work.

The weather has been so gorgeous, I am outside, watering my tomatoes. Back on the wheel soon.

TJR.

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TJR    359

I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

 

 

I see a lot of people making knitting bowls. I honestly didn't know there were that many people, who were into knitting.

 

 

Benzine;

I just want you to know that I don't make knitting bowls.

TJR.

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OffCenter    82

Nelly;

Sometimes we are FORCED to break out of our rut. I have made some jumps in my work, e.g., moving out of stoneware and into earthenware, and then Majolica. This last winter, I decided to only do hand building, after the rush of Christmas. I made a couple of plaster press molds, and was even considering slip casting. I made a series of coil built planters from my mold-one a day. I also made some Styrofoam press molds, and I really liked the results of the slab trays. I incorporated all the "happy accidents" of mark making. Each one became a little painting. I priced them accordingly.I sold quite a few at my spring sale. Now I am back throwing, but I have a whole new dimension to my work.

The weather has been so gorgeous, I am outside, watering my tomatoes. Back on the wheel soon.

TJR.

 

 

Interesting post. How do styrofoam press molds work? Got pictures?

 

Jim

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Benzine    610

I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

 

 

I see a lot of people making knitting bowls. I honestly didn't know there were that many people, who were into knitting.

 

 

Benzine;

I just want you to know that I don't make knitting bowls.

TJR.

 

 

Ha! No demand for those, in the Great North?

 

Nothing against the bowls, or knitting, it just seems there are a lot of people making them, as of late.

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TJR    359

I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

 

 

I see a lot of people making knitting bowls. I honestly didn't know there were that many people, who were into knitting.

 

 

Benzine;

I just want you to know that I don't make knitting bowls.

TJR.

 

 

Ha! No demand for those, in the Great North?

 

Nothing against the bowls, or knitting, it just seems there are a lot of people making them, as of late.

 

Benzine;

Maybe that came off a bit sarcastic. I am working on that.I haven't seen many knitting bowls up here in the Great White North. People do knit here.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

I'm certainly no professional potter- I have only been throwing for a little over a year. But I rarely use a bat and don't do "production pieces". I try to make my smaller pieces and lift them off right away. The larger ones that i am afraid of warping sit overnight on the wheel and then get removed. Usually when they warp all i have to do is run a finger along the rim of the piece to pop it back into place. I also saw a video from simon leach where he used a piece of newspaper on the rim before lifting it to keep it's shape. I tried this and it seems to help, (but I never remember to do it)

 

I think potters develop a few key pieces they are good at producing fairly quickly and then experiment with more fun pieces. (at least that is what I am attempting to do) There is a lady who owns a yarn shop that wants to carry my yarn bowls. (i crochet and belong to their knitting club) I am trying to make a bunch but it's not easy.

 

 

I see a lot of people making knitting bowls. I honestly didn't know there were that many people, who were into knitting.

 

 

Benzine;

I just want you to know that I don't make knitting bowls.

TJR.

 

 

Ha! No demand for those, in the Great North?

 

Nothing against the bowls, or knitting, it just seems there are a lot of people making them, as of late.

 

Benzine;

Maybe that came off a bit sarcastic. I am working on that.I haven't seen many knitting bowls up here in the Great White North. People do knit here.

TJR.

 

 

TJR, I didn't read your post as sarcastic at all, just making light of the apparent fact that those knitting bowls are everywhere, except it seems, Canada. I just figured it was because all of your clothing and blankets were made from the animal pelts, you Canadians hunt daily.

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TJR    359

Benzine;

I am trying to think of a cultural stereotype for you guys. This is a bit dangerous as I am in the minority. When I was on a teacher exchange to Australia, They signed me up for the Grade 10 canoe trip. They never even asked me if I knew how to canoe! Of course we paddle our canoes to work everyday, just like the Ausies ride kangaroos to work. I did actually hit a wallaby on the way to work one day.[with my car,not with a club]

I guess the obvious one would be that all Americans carry at least one gun.I don't actually own a gun,but I own a fishing rod.

TJR.

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Min    783

Benzine;

I am trying to think of a cultural stereotype for you guys. This is a bit dangerous as I am in the minority. When I was on a teacher exchange to Australia, They signed me up for the Grade 10 canoe trip. They never even asked me if I knew how to canoe! Of course we paddle our canoes to work everyday, just like the Ausies ride kangaroos to work. I did actually hit a wallaby on the way to work one day.[with my car,not with a club]

I guess the obvious one would be that all Americans carry at least one gun.I don't actually own a gun,but I own a fishing rod.

TJR.

 

 

 

Oh oh, I do live in Canada and own a canoe.... don't wear a toque or play hockey though. I sold a number of knitting bowls on the weekend, ladies knitting throws for their igloos I guess.

 

 

Min

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TJR    359

Benzine;

I am trying to think of a cultural stereotype for you guys. This is a bit dangerous as I am in the minority. When I was on a teacher exchange to Australia, They signed me up for the Grade 10 canoe trip. They never even asked me if I knew how to canoe! Of course we paddle our canoes to work everyday, just like the Ausies ride kangaroos to work. I did actually hit a wallaby on the way to work one day.[with my car,not with a club]

I guess the obvious one would be that all Americans carry at least one gun.I don't actually own a gun,but I own a fishing rod.

TJR.

 

 

 

Oh oh, I do live in Canada and own a canoe.... don't wear a toque or play hockey though. I sold a number of knitting bowls on the weekend, ladies knitting throws for their igloos I guess.

 

 

Min

 

 

Min;

O.k. Now you are saying that it's just me and that Canadian potters do make knitting bowls.

I do own a canoe, and several toques,also snowshoes and skiis.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

Benzine;

I am trying to think of a cultural stereotype for you guys. This is a bit dangerous as I am in the minority. When I was on a teacher exchange to Australia, They signed me up for the Grade 10 canoe trip. They never even asked me if I knew how to canoe! Of course we paddle our canoes to work everyday, just like the Ausies ride kangaroos to work. I did actually hit a wallaby on the way to work one day.[with my car,not with a club]

I guess the obvious one would be that all Americans carry at least one gun.I don't actually own a gun,but I own a fishing rod.

TJR.

 

 

I actually do "officially" own a gun, for hunting, though I never really used it much, so it's basically my Dad's now. Beyond that, you could comment on the American diet, our addiction/ dependency to technology, or just our general apathy to anything that doesn't directly concern us.

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Matt Oz    67

I live in Michigan and speak fluent Canadian because I grew up on: Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant and the Beachcombers (Channel 9), I often trade beaver pelts, duct tape and the occasional pasty with them. -not pastie

 

Has this topic gone askew....By the way, type askew into the Google homepage and watch what happens.

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JBaymore    1,432

Has this topic gone askew....By the way, type askew into the Google homepage and watch what happens.

 

 

I didn't get the tilt. unsure.gif

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