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Babs

Why Decorate Pots?

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I make pots, boxes, ceramic pieces because I want to decorate them. It's the entire reason I started doing pottery. I wanted to get my own designs and images on the surfaces of items other than paper, canvas or glass. Now I create a piece for the sole purpose of decorating it. I get an image in my head, sketch it out, do up a maquette of the piece, make it out of clay, then use one of many techniques to get the design onto it to realize my original vision. I LOVE decorating pottery it's the best combination I have discovered to combine all the art forms and imagery I love. Oh and yes I am obsessed with clay and hope I am always obsessed with it.

 

Terry

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tom coleman tells a story about a potter who made a fabulous bowl.  someone offered to buy it and the potter thought he would just put a ridiculous price on it and be able to keep it.  $5,000!  SOLD! 

 

later came an invitation to a party at the new house of the pot owner.  the bowl was hung on the wall above the fireplace.  seeing it from the side was great.  then the potter looked from the front and was horrified to find that the owner had glued a large piece of turquoise in the center.

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My whole creative process revolves around pottery illustration. Lowfire glazes usually look like crappy fingernail polish, so I rely on adorable illustrations to give spice to my work. ^_^ Drawing has always been my strongest skill, so underglaze decoration really appeals to me. My pottery is okay, but the images bring my work to life! ^_^

post-63665-0-52173700-1401950127_thumb.jpg

post-63665-0-52173700-1401950127_thumb.jpg

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I was going to ask, how long that took to decorate. Very nice, I love the illustrative quality.

 

Don't be so quick to discount low fire glazes though. I have found some great colors and color combinations. Just because my students seem content with glazing something solid dark blue, or bright yellow, doesn't mean that's the limit to the glazes.

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Pres,

 

How many pounds of clay was that?  I've never made anything nearly that size.  There was a Grad student in the Ceramics program, when I was in college, who had to make special bats, to deal with the amount of clay, he was working with.  He made some large dishes/ platters, with these "Industrial" ladder motifs added on the outside, with high temp wire.  They were quite nice.  He was a big gentleman, a shot putter on the school team.  He was also very nice and willing to help us beginning Ceramic students.  He's actually the one, who got me to think differently about centering, which is what led to my break through into actually getting it centered.  It makes sense, he was also an Education major as well!

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I don't decorate functional ware hardly at all, 3 bands is as wild as I get apart from on bird feeders.  I might do a few crude bands on a pot and then 3 coats of a clear glaze.  There's a few reasons why I don't decorate.  I'm into architecture parlante where form speaks to function and carries the message of function both literally and figuratively (If I'm saying that correctly).  It is important to me that purpose is the most powerful message that a functional piece conveys.  Root purpose, base purpose. Ancient purpose. Additionally in refusing to decorate I spend no time decorating and there is no additional expense associated, which makes the functional ware more economical for people to buy, I pass that savings right on. It's not ridiculously cheap, but close to it. Could be that I prefer to make more pieces in my time and complex decoration would lessen my output which is never enough as it is.  the more output, the better I get.

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That was a long time ago Ben, I know it was over 25#, but not much more. It was thrown on a Brent C, as that is what they used at PSU at the time. It  was thrown on a 24" plywood bat. I let it sit for 3 days under plastic before trimming. It was a little heavy, but the prof(Gallas) said that it needed the weight for the curve and the size. Walls were 12" high. I haven't thrown anything that diameter since, as I don't have anywhere to fire it.

 

I was an oldie at PSU, a teacher of 3 years, and later starting my career.  Many of my grad classes at PSU at the time were assisted by other grad students in the MFA program. I personally was insulted that these students were trying to show me how to work. They were good at paper work, but poor at teaching. I often would give hints, or tips to other students struggling with throwing or assembling. I was often there all day, and in to the night working when most of the authorities were not around. I would always stress that there were no right or wrongs in throwing as long as certain major concepts were attained. However, I found that they asked why I would use certain finger positions when throwing, or certain techniques for opening large, and I would explain. It actually helped me prepare for more classes in the Fall, as my throwing had to continue on with the barrage of questions that these varied skills students would ask. HS kids are much less pushy with their questions, more awed.

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So you went to PSU, to get your Masters Pres?

 

Sounds like the MFA students, were the type, that have been discussed in other topics.  Those, who use big words, and complicated phrases to define their work, without saying much at all.  

 

I always tell my students, that there are numerous ways to do something, when throwing; centering, opening, pulling, etc.  And yes, the high school students, are generally in awe of throwing; whether it be during my demos, or helping them fix a problem they were struggling with.  They tend to ask "How do you do that?"  My response, "I've done that before a couple of times."

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Why decorate pots?

 

I just made a batch of mugs to give to my cousins at a family garden party I'm hosting next weekend.  Thought it would be fun to all have the same/but different mug to drink out of at the party, and to take away at the end.

 

Problem was I didn't have enough glaze to do the inside and outside the same (glossy white), so I poured the glaze in/out of the inside, dipped the top half and almost ran out.  I then mixed in some clear glaze and some satin white (having already done some test tiles a while back), and dipped the bottom half.

 

That left a line around the middle of the mug, so I decorated that line.  I put dots or dashes or zig-zags or circles of a bright red runny glaze on every mug and fired them, hoping the red would run into the white/white mix and give me lots of mugs the same/but different.  It worked - yehay.

post-59202-0-46170700-1408872651_thumb.jpg

post-59202-0-09903500-1408872653_thumb.jpg

post-59202-0-46170700-1408872651_thumb.jpg

post-59202-0-09903500-1408872653_thumb.jpg

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Why decorate pots?

 

I often ask myself the same question, usually just after I've started decorating a pot. :rolleyes:

 

it's not one of my strengths, (but I'm working on some simple solutions - in fact there's two in the kiln right now).  If I like it I'll post a pic.

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Why decorate pots?

 

I often ask myself the same question, usually just after I've started decorating a pot. :rolleyes:

 

it's not one of my strengths, (but I'm working on some simple solutions - in fact there's two in the kiln right now).  If I like it I'll post a pic.

A lot of people are intimidated by the blank white pot. If you are serious about decorating, grab some India ink and an oriental brush and start making some patterns on newspaper. If you use black or blue ink, your designs will look great.

2. The other problem artists have is not knowing what to paint. I started out with banding on bowls. Then I did leaves and circles. But I did it all on newspapers first.

3. I always paint on my wheel head with stains to loosen up before I go to the pots.

4.Have fun!

TJR.

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So you went to PSU, to get your Masters Pres?

 

Sounds like the MFA students, were the type, that have been discussed in other topics.  Those, who use big words, and complicated phrases to define their work, without saying much at all.  

 

I always tell my students, that there are numerous ways to do something, when throwing; centering, opening, pulling, etc.  And yes, the high school students, are generally in awe of throwing; whether it be during my demos, or helping them fix a problem they were struggling with.  They tend to ask "How do you do that?"  My response, "I've done that before a couple of times."

I started at Penn State in grad classes, non degree program. However, for reimbursement from the district I had to have "grad" courses-upper numbers. I believed I would see how things were, and then get into a program in Art Ed. MFA required a 2 yr residency. I really could not do that. 30 credits later I was still not in a program, and had realized that the Med would require great amounts of pedagogy credits. Credits I did not and do not believe made me much better of a teacher. Content is important to me, I believe that having your content under control makes you much more comfortable with the aspects of teaching. So I transferred 24 credits to Mansfield University, and finished an Med 2 years later. I did not have the opportunity to take ceramics up there, but got a lot of painting, drawing and printmaking in. Masters paper on creating a computer animation studio, and the first paper handed in in digital format and DTP.

 

My response to how I did things. . . . after 30 years of helping students with problems your problem was minor.

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I've always had a hard time with blank space.  I hang things on every available inch of my walls.  To me, things that are just glazed one color are boring.  Even if the form is amazing I stop looking at it very quickly.  before I was decorating my pieces I was glazing them in a lot of different colors trying to get something which would stay visually stimulating for me.  This led of course to a lot of horrible looking pots with poor color combinations.  Around the same time, I was wrestling with throwing things which were not the weight of a brick, and frustrating with the whole trimming process. So I would trim a little and then I would use the tip of a fettling knife to carve out patterns in the clay.  No one thought to mention to me that there were better tools for that, so I did that for years.  I also couldn't throw anything very big and didn't get the whole stacking pots thing so I would make my pots bigger by adding coils.  I really enjoyed the texture of the coils so even when I got better at bigger things I would add coils to get the texture I wanted.  So basically my whole aesthetic originated in my dislike of blank space, and my failure to make good forms  :D

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Mudbug,

Great video of Allan Caiger Smith and Mike Casson. They are both so young there. Met Allen at the majolica conference, "Seduced by Color" in Toronto in the 90s and Casson with Walter Keeler in Pisa in 2001. Great potters all three! Thanks for posting.

Marcia

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I don't have a sofa. That settles that. Here's a saying that I like "Never let your story be more interesting than your art." Lester VanWinkle  Actually, it is one of Lester's rules. Here is a link to Lester's rules...worth checking out! 

 

http://www.babygorilla.com/warehouse/professional/rules/lesterslaws.html

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Why decorate pots?

 

I just made a batch of mugs to give to my cousins at a family garden party I'm hosting next weekend.  Thought it would be fun to all have the same/but different mug to drink out of at the party, and to take away at the end.

 

Problem was I didn't have enough glaze to do the inside and outside the same (glossy white), so I poured the glaze in/out of the inside, dipped the top half and almost ran out.  I then mixed in some clear glaze and some satin white (having already done some test tiles a while back), and dipped the bottom half.

 

That left a line around the middle of the mug, so I decorated that line.  I put dots or dashes or zig-zags or circles of a bright red runny glaze on every mug and fired them, hoping the red would run into the white/white mix and give me lots of mugs the same/but different.  It worked - yehay.

 

Was there a shelf above that? Seems like a lot of empty space and it is making me itch  :huh:

 

I started decorating pots with coloured slips so I didn't have to spend hours testing to find another glaze. I find being lazy you find the easiest ways to complete anything. I was also inspired by Bill Gates

FFmFzxJ.jpg

Chris Campbell and Chilly like this

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Why decorate pots?

 

I just made a batch of mugs to give to my cousins at a family garden party I'm hosting next weekend.  Thought it would be fun to all have the same/but different mug to drink out of at the party, and to take away at the end.

 

 

Was there a shelf above that? Seems like a lot of empty space and it is making me itch  :huh:

 

No, that was all the "stoneware" stuff I had.  At the centre, I'm the only one firing to ^6.  There was too much for my little round kiln, and not really enough for the big kiln, but I needed that lot fired for the party the following weekend.  

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