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Potter/ceramicist: Pottery/ceramics?

potter ceramicist definition pottery

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#1 Mudslinger Ceramics

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

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some thought 'potter'  and 'pottery' was outdated, some kind of 1970's 'hippy' brown 'mug and jug' concept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


Mudslinger Ceramics :   www.mudslingerceramics.net

 

'Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to.

It will stick with you and show up for better or for worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.'

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#2 JBaymore

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:50 AM

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


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#3 Diane Puckett

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:42 PM

Potter, and proud of it. Unless I am in NYC, where I morph into a ceramic artist.

Y'all have a drama-free, muddy holiday season.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#4 Brian Reed

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:43 PM

I asked a similar question last year and got a varity of answers.  Now when I introduce myself I will say Potter.


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#5 Mark C.

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

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


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#6 Denice

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:07 AM

Mark are those the same terms that I want to call people at parties that haven't the foggiest idea what a potter does or the ones that offer me a 1000 molds when I tell them I am a Ceramic artist.  Denice



#7 Mark C.

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:35 AM

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


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#8 Babs

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 05:00 AM

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.



#9 bciskepottery

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:25 AM

Mud Wrestler . . . if you watch me throw, you'll understand. 



#10 JBaymore

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

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


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#11 GEP

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:16 AM

This thread has made me realize that I have stopped associating with people who don't know what a potter does.
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
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#12 Babs

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:11 PM

 

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.



#13 BeF23

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 03:07 PM

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.



#14 Denice

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:57 PM

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



#15 bciskepottery

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:04 AM

"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. 



#16 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:59 PM

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'.

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#17 Denice

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 05:42 PM

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



#18 ChenowethArts

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:59 PM

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.


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#19 Davidpotter

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:43 PM

i like to keep it simple and call myself a potter. though sometimes i'll use the term "skilled work" too. since it takes a lot of practice to do what we do on the wheel


Practice, practice, practice. Then when you think you've practiced enough, the real practice begins.

#20 Bob Coyle

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:20 PM

When asked, I say  "I do ceramics". When filling out a form I just put "ceramics".  I think That lets people come up with their own image and I hope have enough curiosity to take a look







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