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Why Decorate Pots?


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#1 Babs

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:29 AM

Reading some of what Alan Caiger-Smith wrote on decorating pots, too hot to do anything but breath today, and have been thinking of how and why I decorate pots, and does what i do provide what I am seeking.

What do you think on this?

 



#2 Diane Puckett

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:31 AM

Honestly, I had not heard of Smith before reading your post, so I googled him. I am awed by his work. It is so reflective of beautiful calligraphy, something I love. I will look for more photos of his work.

Interestingly, my grandfather and father did some calligraphy. My son was never exposed to this, as my father died at a young age. When my son was in art school he was exposed to lettering and discovered his passion. He is now a professional typographer. I think there is something hard-wired in our brains to love this type of design. It reminds me of Celtic designs, and perhaps that is the visceral connection for us.

How to decorate my pots in a way I find fulfilling is something I have been struggling with. Thanks for your post. I am feeling very inspired.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#3 TJR

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:00 AM

I decorate all of my work. The trick is to have something worth saying. I was influenced by Michael Cardew. Start with banding. Grab a bamboo brush and some ink ank decorate a newspaper to develope a personal vocabulary of imagery.

See my gallery, which I have yet to update.

TJR.



#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

I am envying you being too hot .... Too cold in this hemisphere!

Anyhow .... I decorate because I can't not decorate. My very first pots had seed pods pressed into them. Every pot looks like a canvas to me which is why I eventually found my way into porcelain ... the perfect white canvas.

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#5 Pres

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:39 AM

Decoration often times is evolutionary, not something that all of a sudden happens. It is like developing your tastes, what worked 5 years ago does not satisfy you today. I used to work with atomizers and stains to use found objects and all sorts of lace etc to decorate my pieces on a Bristol type glaze, finished up with calligraphic lines to complete the imagery. A few years ago I started working with other glaze colors at the HS and added these glazes at home. Moving to a darker clay body moved me to use white slip and notched tools to decorate. Still not happy, I am thinking of returning to the old techniques after working with some spray paint and urethane this summer to decorate a desk and recycle a mail box. If I could get some of these effects on glaze, I would be happy.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#6 Babs

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:47 PM

Honestly, I had not heard of Smith before reading your post, so I googled him. I am awed by his work. It is so reflective of beautiful calligraphy, something I love. I will look for more photos of his work.

Interestingly, my grandfather and father did some calligraphy. My son was never exposed to this, as my father died at a young age. When my son was in art school he was exposed to lettering and discovered his passion. He is now a professional typographer. I think there is something hard-wired in our brains to love this type of design. It reminds me of Celtic designs, and perhaps that is the visceral connection for us.

How to decorate my pots in a way I find fulfilling is something I have been struggling with. Thanks for your post. I am feeling very inspired.

There are a couple of videos on you tube in which Alan C-G demonstrates his brush work. makes it sooooo easy!

Hich 30degC and Over 40 for a week is toooo hot for me.Mixing glazes and hoping the brain is not fried. Pottery shed corrugated iron.Who needs a sauna?



#7 Diane Puckett

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

Honestly, I had not heard of Smith before reading your post, so I googled him. I am awed by his work. It is so reflective of beautiful calligraphy, something I love. I will look for more photos of his work.
Interestingly, my grandfather and father did some calligraphy. My son was never exposed to this, as my father died at a young age. When my son was in art school he was exposed to lettering and discovered his passion. He is now a professional typographer. I think there is something hard-wired in our brains to love this type of design. It reminds me of Celtic designs, and perhaps that is the visceral connection for us.
How to decorate my pots in a way I find fulfilling is something I have been struggling with. Thanks for your post. I am feeling very inspired.

There are a couple of videos on you tube in which Alan C-G demonstrates his brush work. makes it sooooo easy!
Hich 30degC and Over 40 for a week is toooo hot for me.Mixing glazes and hoping the brain is not fried. Pottery shed corrugated iron.Who needs a sauna?
Thanks! I will look for the videos.
It is snowing here. I am planning on a cold day in the studio tomorrow, but that beats a warm day in an office.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#8 TJR

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:56 PM

It is now raining here. It will all be ice tomorrow morning.I have seen more accidents this year than ever before

TJR.



#9 Babs

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:44 AM

Another 40+ day tomorrow!

All the birds are lying around my waterbowls, just exhausted.

Your decorations have strong lines like Michael Cardrew, I looked up some old Craft Horizon mags in which he is featured. Quite a character.

His son, I think, does fine bird decoration, your fish capture the movement as well as the image. Looks simple, don't think it is! You just see teh right lines, right?

Wouldn't mind a shower of rain right now.

Babs

 

It is now raining here. It will all be ice tomorrow morning.I have seen more accidents this year than ever before

TJR.



#10 lecira

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:16 PM

Why not?

 

Humans separated themselves from non-humans by making tools and art... decorating their tools, bodies and early utilitarian objects, dwellings, etc., for various sacred/magical/pleasurable reasons.

 

Some pots want/ask for decoration, others don't.

 

Decorating a pot to me is no different that painting a painting or making a sculpture or composing music... 

 

It is a a journey in the moment to be taken and enjoyed.

 

Why make food attractive? We don't have to, but it sure makes eating more enjoyable.

 

Okay, where are my wading boots?

 

We could get into "Why make art at all?" in no time, but that's another subject...or is it??

 

I'm just gald people do make, decorate, enjoy, use, collect, admire... pots.

 

Lena

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#11 Stellaria

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:40 AM

How about NOT decorating as an aesthetic statement?
I've never been a decorate-y kind of person. My home has nothing on the walls but bookshelves, double-shelved with books. My bedroom has entertaining designs on the walls that I imagine into shapes simply because that's how the sheets of wallpaper decided to peel off.
My pots don't get intentional decoration beyond identifying marks, not because I don't have the skill or confidence to decorate, but because I actually feel like I am marring beauty if I do so. I feel the same about smoothing out throwing marks - it takes that special something away from the interaction of the glaze with the piece . So one person's lack of decoration could very well be another's preferred aesthetic, and conversely one person's preferred decorations could be another person's idea of hideous overkill.
I enjoy the balance between intentional decoration and serendipitous beauty :)

#12 Pres

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:35 AM

From the beginning to the end, we decorate the clay. We form/shape/mold it into a form, we leave marks from fingers and tools intentionally or accidentally. We dry and fire the clay, we apply a glaze to seal the clay, and even the clearest of glazes changes the surface. Some potters spend a lifetime trying to replicate that look of the leather hard chocolate brown unfired beauty in a fired permanent piece. Others choose to use the surface as canvas for their own interpretation of beauty. Still others looking for the natural in precious and semi precious gems fire in strange manners using fuming and other processes to decorate their work leaving much of the decoration to chance. All of us strive for an interpretation of some unexplainable vision of beauty that only making and decorating the object can explain that vision.

 

Does this mean that all of us can really understand that vision? I really don't understand John when he says some teabowls are $40-50 and others $400, I can appreciate each, but don't know enough to really understand. Much of decoration is the same and isn't it great that there are so many different visions of what is . . . .


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#13 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:55 AM

 it's a personal journey. The minute we try to make an outside statement with our work, rather than an inward expression, it loses authenticity.  The artist decides what piece receives the decoration not because of what outsiders perceive, but because of how satisfied we are with that pice.  When I was a freshmen in high school my art teacher had a saying "there is no bad art, and good art doesn't match your couch."  It's a personal thing between the artist and his work.  

We don't need to get it if it's not our work. But it's always nice when someone DOES! ;) 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#14 Chris Campbell

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:14 AM

"there is no bad art, and good art doesn't match your couch."

 

Well, I totally disagree with this statement Blondie! ( I found out at NCECA that Rebekah is blonde right now. :P  :D )

There are train loads of bad art and lots of homes are decorated around the Art inside ... so it does indeed match the sofa.


Chris Campbell
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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#15 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

"there is no bad art, and good art doesn't match your couch."

 

Well, I totally disagree with this statement Blondie! ( I found out at NCECA that Rebekah is blonde right now. :P  :D )

There are train loads of bad art and lots of homes are decorated around the Art inside ... so it does indeed match the sofa.

shhhh!!! Once they find out I am both blonde AND polish nobody will take me seriously anymore!!! ;)

 

 

Oh, and good art doesn't match the sofa…. the sofa has to match the good art. :P


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#16 TJR

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

I am actually in a group of artists called the GAWMYS. Good art won't match your sofa. We have a group show coming up in 2015. All of us are art teachers or retired art teachers. None of us make work to match furniture.

Tom



#17 Pres

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:10 PM

Awesome TJR!


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#18 Benzine

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:54 PM

"there is no bad art, and good art doesn't match your couch."

 

Well, I totally disagree with this statement Blondie! ( I found out at NCECA that Rebekah is blonde right now. :P  :D )

There are train loads of bad art and lots of homes are decorated around the Art inside ... so it does indeed match the sofa.

 

 

Hmmm, I just thought the light hair color was from the filter used on the profile photo.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#19 Babs

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:16 PM

Just goes to show that our bodies are only our containers...some choose to decorate, some don't! :D



#20 Mudslinger Ceramics

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:08 PM

"there is no bad art, and good art doesn't match your couch."

 

Had my exhibition recently, pieces were sculptural in a subdued colour palette influenced by Japanese sand gardens, the mindful practice of Ikebana, the philosophy of wabi-sabi......etc

 

One lady walked about for 40 mins then bought my most expensive piece...... 'Yes!!'...sound of my artist's euphoria!!

 

Rang her 2 days later as courtesy follow up.....'Oh yes' she says 'the upside down mushroom ones?  (????!) They look nice on the brown sideboard I bought them for'........... 'CRASH!!'....sound of my artist's ego hitting the floor!!

 

Decorate/not decorate, colours, shapes, styles, approaches, philosophies, functional, decorative.... etc, etc.....in the end only those on the receiving end really know why they want it.....

 

...so I just make 'it' anyway I like because I like it and it expresses my philosophies....makes me happy

 

p.s. very little decoration on sculptural pieces, more decoration on practical domestic ones

 

 

Irene


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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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