Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

Had our gallery's Christmas bash recently and a debate broke out about our personal definitions of who we are and what we do.......

 

some thought 'potter'  and 'pottery' was outdated, some kind of 1970's 'hippy' brown 'mug and jug' concept

 

others said 'ceramicist' sounded like some inflated, interllectual self-justifying 'label' for a craft already practiced for thousands of years  

 

others thought 'ceramics' allowed for broader interpretations than functional wares

 

and ALL were horrified that handmade artisan work could get lumped into 'paint-a-plate/hobby ceramics'!!

 

............the impetus for today's question was one person's strong assertion that ....'in the US and UK theyre called ceramicists not potters!'..............really??

 

.......it does not seem the case as I read through CAD but maybe I can't read.........so I will ask the question....

 

How do you define yourself and what you do?.......   potter/pottery, ceramics/ceramicist....or some hybrid or variation?

 

Look forward to the answers.......

 

Have a great Christmas/New Year holiday!!                ......btw, 35C here today...no snow :) 

 

 

Irene 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I typically use ceramist or ceramic artist. 

 

It is my understanding that "ceramisist" (sir ram a sist) is actually an incorrect spelling and pronunciation.  But I could be wrong.  It could also be like the English (as in UK) pronunciation of "aluminum" relative to the US English pronunciation.   I've been using ceramist (cayer a mist) for as long as I can remember.

 

Ah yes..... that famous profession-damaging bumper sticler........   "Ceramics: The world's most facinating hobby". 

 

And the credibility-lowering curse we too often tend to place on ourselves...... "I play with clay."  or "I play with mud."

 

Unfortunately words do matter. They carry meanings and create impressions.  How you chose to describe yourself does not matter....... as long as the connotations the word create fits who you are.

 

best,

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a potter-if you get technical i'm a studio potter or funtional potter-These terms work for my customers and they relate to them fine. They did 40 years ago as well-they still do.They call me a potter.

Now if they are drinking at a party or bash as you say they may use other terms?

Mark

Carol Eaton likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do not mean drunks do you?

Most folks in out small county know what a potter is -you see we have two types one works with clay(#1) the other grows Marijuana(#2)

which is now what this place is known for  now (Humbldt County) I'm the 1st type

If you want to see the other type check out the DVD Humboldt County for some bad acting as well.

 

PS I have some pottery in a kitchen scene in that flick my wife says. Not sure myself

If its mine it was done without my knowledge. I have sold pottery here for 40 years so I'm not surprized

I had a customer in my booth today thats been buying my stuff since 1973.

Mark

Carol Eaton likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peasant potter here! Got sick of whether pottery is Art or Craft ongoing debate by some people around.. Desire to change our community gallery to a Fine Art gallery by self acclaimed uneducated  Art experts made something in me go to the dark side... 

Not usually like this but gimme a break, being critiqued by peasants, hell I might as well be one! Just another label to stop people thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got sick of whether pottery is Art or Craft ongoing debate by some people around..

 

For me this is simple...... I have always ascribed to the Japanese viewpoint (before the Westerners arrived). There simply is no dividing line.

 

best,

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Got sick of whether pottery is Art or Craft ongoing debate by some people around..

 

For me this is simple...... I have always ascribed to the Japanese viewpoint (before the Westerners arrived). There simply is no dividing line.

 

best,

 

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

 

Apologies for the rant, the seasonal stress may have damaged my filter, lots of rough stuff in the clay ;) for me the involvement of the viewer with what is presented  most important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 'clay aritst'.  I don't do just pottery, so I if I say that and then tell people I also do sculpture, then they think that's an aside 'hobby'.  If I say 'ceramicist', then inevitably, and usually surprisingly, depending on the company I am keeping, someone asks me a question about painting figurines.  So, Clay Artist.  But that usually requires extensive explanation too.  

As a side note...

I spent many years convincing a large group of potters that they work was both a craft and an art.  It's an important thing to know about your work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that description 'clay artist',  I might try using it.  I produce more sculptural  work than any thing else.  Mark I wish I could tell you those people were drunk but they weren't, they are members in car restoration clubs.  They don't mix drinking with driving ever.  Art is not emphasized in Wichita, KS, we are a manufacturing city, building planes from the smallest single engines to the largest.freight lifters.  You grow up here expecting to work at one on the plants when you get out of school.  Walk up to a group of people and listen to them discussing  wind shear, hydraulics, pneumatics ect. very few speak the language of art..  Denice

BeF23 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Walk up to a group of people and listen to them discussing wind shear, hydraulics, pneumatics ect. very few speak the language of art."

I'm willing to say it's poetry to them . . . the art of making planes.  Maybe not "art" in the context of our community, but among their tribe, art. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a potter but if I say that somebody wants to buy a mug.

I've noticed that all the service/delivery people really want to hear all about it when they see the kilns in the garage. They are really interested and into it. They ask to see the wheel and the clay etc. ... talking to them is more fun than some 'Shows'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed that too, my husband's garage where he restores cars is right next to my studio.  After they look at the cars they head for the kiln room, really don't care what I'm working on, must see the kilns.  I hope everyone is getting  some work done, I had big plans but got sideline by pneumonia even had to cancel Christmas.  Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second what BeF23 wrote.  Clay Artist seems to work...even if it means a longer explaination.  I have noted the term does have better success in Google than it used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 none of the categories quite fit me. tile maker? sculptor?  hand builder?

potter isn't accurate either though i don't howl about being in the big tribe.

oh? and that other word, at least it is better if you take out the extra 'syllalibble'

i.e., ceramist rather than ceramicist.

woody b likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say that I'm a potter and I make pots. 

 

It doesn't preclude me from making pots that are art, and I can fill that role as well, but I'm good with potter. My day job for the last 15 years has been making, installing, and fixing things, and I feel there is a lot of value in titles like craftsman, artisan, and tradesman. If they have lost value in society's eyes, in then it up to us to change that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×