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flowerdry

You Know You're A Real Potter When....

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I got this idea from Marks pictures of his very nice, minimally bloated mugs that he tossed in the trash.  I was thinking that mine would have been used as tool or pencil holders, or whatever.  He's been doing this so long he is overflowing no doubt with vessels used to hold just about anything.

I'm just not there yet.  Are you?

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I was told a story back in collage in the mid 70's about not selling your seconds as they will sooner or later come back to haunt you.

Of course I was young and knew all the worldly ways I thought and soon after getting my degree was having studio sales twice a year. Now I should add I had no money then and starving artist rules apply when times are tight. What rules you may ask-the rules that apply to get money no matter what.

That included have a seconds area at my spring studio sale and as times improved I stopped that but meanwhile some hideous stuff slipped on out the door for cheap and I was able to feed myself and pay the mortgage and buy a pair of shoes now and again .

Now fast forward 20 years and some good friends I have become close with had us over to dinner with some others friends as well . The salad was served in a huge stoneware bowl that looked familiar somehow. As a potter you know your stuff down deep even if 30-40 years goes by.

Now there was a giant lip split and it was warped like a football shape and the outside had warts the size of walnuts on it. The bowl was passed around a large table with many friends and I said to the host where did that bowl come from and she said she bought it at my studio sale in the late 7o's before she knew me when she moved up here for $3 and isn't it great. We are talking about a butt ugly piece of -----. I offered to replace it and they said no they love it. Now I know what my mentor meant-it comes back to you sooner or later.

I think i will add this post to my bloating as it seems to fit.

I have long ago leaned to cut my losses and make more pots when they have issues.

Mark

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When your scrap pile is higher than your boxes of saved pieces.

 

Sorry Pres, with me that's the other way round.  I know I'm not a "real potter" yet, and my scrap/recycle pile is definately higher than the fire/keep pile.

Armen Enikolopov likes this

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I got this idea from Marks pictures of his very nice, minimally bloated mugs that he tossed in the trash.  I was thinking that mine would have been used as tool or pencil holders, or whatever.  He's been doing this so long he is overflowing no doubt with vessels used to hold just about anything.

I'm just not there yet.  Are you?

 

And the picture you mentioned is where exactly?

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This fall my sister was visiting from California and I always give her some work to take home.  One piece that she wanted was a recently fired teapot, it had layered glazes.  I wasn't happy with the glaze on the handle, it was spotty, I didn't let her have it.  I didn't want my name associated with it, I was still trying to decide whether to toss it or try refiring it.  I wonder now if I was being a perfectionist or just a typical potter, imperfections don't seem to bother the general public as much.    Denice

Marcia Selsor and dawneckhardt like this

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.... when you recycle badly executed pieces before they are fired ....

And

... when you trash or recycle badly finished pieces rather than sell them.

+1 what Chris said. They end up as gifts, which may bite me back.

 

And recently I've been stressing (a little) about the qualities/nuance of the lips of my tea bowls/ chawan....

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When you're so disgusted by a glaze test that turned out so totally off that you smash it in the shard pile, THEN.......

six months later while walking to the kiln you see this GREAT shard on the ground. You race back to your notes only to discover that page is missing.

You put that shard on a shelf to remind you to let the glaze live long enough to talk to you.

 

To err is human but to lose a great glaze is unforgivable.

Wyndham

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When you're so disgusted by a glaze test that turned out so totally off that you smash it in the shard pile, THEN.......

 

six months later while walking to the kiln you see this GREAT shard on the ground. You race back to your notes only to discover that page is missing.

 

You put that shard on a shelf to remind you to let the glaze live long enough to talk to you.

 

To err is human but to lose a great glaze is unforgivable.

Wyndham

I forgive you Wyndham!

Just think of the archeologists in your shard pile, continuing to search the area for more of  this treasure and not finding it! :)

ANd the lesson you learned , smash the pot, leave your glaze notebook alone!

I think I'll know when I'm a potter when it comes slipping out of my mouth when someone asks, "What do you do?"

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Forums are an interesting form of communication.

I wanted my post to come off tongue- in- cheeck but reading my own post it came off p.o.'ed,which was not my intent.

Being a potter is a state of mind, whether your in or out of your mind :). Some days I'm in other's, well...

Really, you're a potter that day you sit at the wheel and get that WOW feeling and then WOW everyday after that.

Wyndham

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An artist who is a  painter does not need to weave the canvas or make the paints to be an artist. Same goes for potters and glazing.

Look at the video on the African women potters, not a lot of glazing going on. If I compared my work with these folks, I'm way behind the learning curve.

Wyndham

Rebekah Krieger likes this

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1.  people order pieces and don't ask you to change anything :)

2. you cull ruthlessly *after* you have put handles on mugs and finished all steps to berry bowls but before bisque firing.  (i recently tossed two berry bowls because the holes didn't come out exactly as i wanted.

3.  you wash the glaze off a piece and redo it because you have learned through trial and error that proper glazing does count and crappy "get by" glazing ruins a great pot.

4. when you can recreate the same shape over and over, even if you don't want to.

5. you set aside a large trash can for fired pieces that don't cut the mustard and smash the pieces in it so that you (and others) aren't tempted to save them 

6. and most importantly to me, you continue to try new things and take risks that can end up in the reclaim pile/trash heap.

Chilly and dawneckhardt like this

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I am a real newbie, have been throwing pots for less that a year.  So I know I have a really long ways to go...something about 1000 pots before you can be a 'real' potter?   :unsure:

But, I am looking at my first pieces that I did and realize not even my folks would like them.  So, they are in my house, small cylinders with heavy bottoms and thick walls, holding small flowers, pencils, and toothpicks.  

My goals are:

-using a lot less water

-throwing a large vase without it going wonky on me

-making a 'functional' teapot

-thin walls

-not trimming through the bottom

-lids that fit

-having more new clay than recycled clay

:D

clay lover likes this

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(Recently)

A. Making 20 or so yunomi, In the process off trimming, ware board falls, then without emotions clean and sweep up and put pieces in recovery bucket. knowing that the next iteration, or life of this clay will be better ( ok that just sounded a bit Buddhist). Realizing The time spent making then recovering was not wasted.

 

B. Realizing I'm spending most if my days off (from money job) involved with making pottery.

 

C. Driving an 8 hour round trip drive to get some pieces woodfired. And can't wait to do it again.

 

D. When some guy (at day job)(and I've never met) callsme the tea cup guy (today) And wants to see my web site (which I don't have) (except for pinterest)

 

E. When people at pottery studio can distinguish my cups and bowls from everyone else's work without looking at sig.

Babs and JBaymore like this

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You know you're a real potter when... even your bogies are mostly made out of clay.

 

OK, I'll bite. Define "bogies' for me.  Is that like, "I thought it was a booger, but its-not?"  I mean, I have probably inhaled my share of clay dust and dirt (not recommended)m but I have yet to sneeze out a pot ;)

clay lover likes this

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