Jump to content


Photo

I'll Never Be A Real Potter.


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#1 flowerdry

flowerdry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 428 posts
  • LocationVirginia

Posted 23 March 2015 - 08:53 AM

I have reached an important decision in my clay life that I want to share with my forum friends.  I love my journey in clay and want to always be moving forward, improving and learning.  I have always assumed that since I want to be a good potter I would eventually need to start mixing my own glazes, but have been putting off that step. I have been dreading all that glaze mixing entails and I know you all know what I mean by that.

Last week I realized that clay is something I do because I want to do it, not because I have to, and mixing glazes because I feel I have to will take too much of the joy away for me.  So I'm not going to do it.  Why should I, when OTHER PEOPLE have done it for me, and very well at that.  I am happy with the commercial glazes I use and am always trying out new ones and new combinations and techniques.  I teach a few beginners classes and sell a few pots at a gallery and that pays for my habit and makes me happy.

 

I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  I am at peace with never becoming a "real potter".


Doris Hackworth

"Promoting the joy of handmade pottery"


#2 Amy Eberhardt

Amy Eberhardt

    Just muddling my way through

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 184 posts
  • Location30 miles west of Spokane, Washington

Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:17 AM

If making ones own glazes is a prerequisite to becoming a real potter, then I'm right beside you Doris!  

 

I have a limited amount of time available to me each day in which to indulge myself in the mud. There are others out there that are far more qualified to create glazes, and I have absolutely no problem in acknowledging that. I'd far rather pay someone else to do the grunt work of making glazes than to spend time, resources and space in doing so myself. I'm just as right as rain with the notion of hydrating a batch of dry glaze mix, but that's probably as close as I'll ever come to doing it myself.

 

That being said, who knows....there may come a day when I want to stretch out farther than I do at the moment, and dive head first into making my own glazes from scratch. But for now, I'll let others who have greater understanding of the chemistry of glazes do it for me. I like to think of it as my way of supporting another aspect of the pottery world. ;)



#3 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,114 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:29 AM

Congrats!! You can now enjoy guilt free pottery :P

 

REAL is an imaginary goal that sucks the fun out of pottery for many people.

 

Glaze chemistry ... arg!! ...  I just cannot grasp the concepts of chemistry ... so yes, I too leave it to the chemists who love this stuff and are paid to improve glazes. If I mix a glaze it is someone else's recipe.

I also would be very happy to pass my work on to someone else who would fire it ... some folks enjoy every minute of playing with the firing.

 

Making is my thing. I just love trying every idea I can come up with in the making process. After that I progressively lose interest. I still do the jobs mind you, but making is the most fun for me.


Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://ccpottery.com/

>TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT"

" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#4 Stephen

Stephen

    novice

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 668 posts

Posted 23 March 2015 - 11:36 AM

Sounds right to me. 

 

Since your time is limited I would think you would only mix ur own if you wanted to explore that part of the medium as well. Money is not a good reason for you because with low output the savings is probably offset with hassle and more upfront cost. In a production environment the savings can be a lot of dough though so if you ever want to go pro you will likely have to do it for business reasons a if for no other.

   



#5 Tyler Miller

Tyler Miller

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts

Posted 23 March 2015 - 12:53 PM

flowerdry, you sound real enough to me.  Mixing glazes is something I enjoy, but I can see how others wouldn't.  It's a huge pain to get glazes you like, storage is a hassle, and it's where the most toxic chemicals of ceramics come in.  Definitely not for everyone.  The fact that you use Amaco (or whatever brand you use) and that you're content with it just means you know yourself and your limitations.  That makes you a better potter, I think.  I'm glad you've found relief in your realization.



#6 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    The extraordinary clay bender

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 786 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 23 March 2015 - 01:20 PM

I guess some artists are not real painters either because they don't make their own paints?


~ Namaste ~

 

Home studio potter 

 

Shanel Pottery 

www.shanelpottery.com

www.facebook.com/shanelspottery 

 

 

 

"To me the greatest thing is to live beauty in our daily life and to crowd every moment with things of beauty.  It is then, and then only that  the art of the people as a whole is endowed with it's richest significance.  For it's products are those made by great a many craftsmen for the mass of the people, and the moment this art declines the life of the nation  is removed far away from beauty.  So long as beauty abides in only in a few articles created by a few geniuses, the kingdom of beauty is nowhere near realization."                                                                                 - Bernard Leach 

#7 High Bridge Pottery

High Bridge Pottery

    Joel Edmondson

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,884 posts
  • LocationNewcastle Upon Tyne. England

Posted 23 March 2015 - 01:57 PM

I am glad you have found peace within. I think being a real potter is about doing what you need to do to get that fired pot. Whatever it is, that is up to you.

 

Glazes though, I love the chemistry  :D I find it hard to understand when you say you dread all that glaze mixing entails. Getting different crushed up rocks and making this mixture of oxides that melts into a glaze makes me so happy, and it is so much cheaper to make them  :ph34r: I do understand that it also comes with so much frustration getting it wrong 95% of the time. 


youtube-logo-50x50.png facebook-logo-50.png instahack.png?1

 


#8 oldlady

oldlady

    single firing an electric kiln to cone 6

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,449 posts
  • Locationharpers ferry west va and pinellas park fl

Posted 23 March 2015 - 02:02 PM

glad you will be happy!  i do not know anything about the chemistry either, and i knew i would always hate making my own.  but.............surprise, i don't dislike it so much after all.  i use tried and true recipes from other people who have been generous enough to share their recipes.  i only change colors.  some work, others don't.  that is enough experimenting for me. :)


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#9 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,304 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 23 March 2015 - 02:50 PM

Parts of ceramics are not for everyone.Building kilns-glaze mixing-laying gas pipe-doing electrical work-all skills yes but not for everyone. There are so many things in ceramics that one can spend a lifetime learning about.

Clay work is just a small part of the whole but that also can take a lifetime.

Master what feels right-leave the rest to others.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#10 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg,Manitoba,Canada

Posted 23 March 2015 - 04:35 PM

I used to think that I wasn't a real potter because I couldn't grow a decent beard. I did eventually get a beard in my 40's, after not shaving for an entire summer-itchy.

I make my own glazes. I came across a glaze recipe on a hunk of paper when I was doing my taxes called "Salvation Blue". Who could resist a name like that It contains 3% cobalt. I mixed up two tests for it on Sunday. I realized that I didn't reset the gram scale and instead of 8 grams of ball clay, I had 28 in two tests. I had to remake the entire tests.I have an entire glaze lab which takes up a lot of containers of materials, but I LOVE making glaze tests.

Many potters use commercial glazes. Many potters can't grow a beard. There is room for all of us.Welcome.

TJR.

p.s. If you see me at NCECA, please don't laugh at my beard.

T.



#11 ChenowethArts

ChenowethArts

    Senior Geek & Whimsical Artist

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 557 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee - Where at least a few studios make something besides music.

Posted 23 March 2015 - 04:53 PM

I used to think that I wasn't a real potter because I couldn't grow a decent beard. I did eventually get a beard in my 40's, after not shaving for an entire summer-itchy.

Oh dear!  I shaved my beard...I'm doomed! :unsure:

 

flowerdry,  Just being real is truly enough. I am still humbled by clay artists from centuries ago who had little more than mud from a creek bank, a fire, and a desire to create something from the heart using their bare hands.

 

-Paul


Paul Chenoweth
Visit/Like me on Facebook
Shop Etsy New!
Connect on Twitter
Mostly Ceramics on Pinterest


#12 Min

Min

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,520 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 23 March 2015 - 05:54 PM

This reminds me of when only the “real potters” were those that fired to ^10 reduction. Times change, attitudes with them. If you are happy with your results then it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks does it? 


#13 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,304 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 23 March 2015 - 06:10 PM

I have only shaved twice in my whole life and do have a short beard.I never thought it as a prerequisite to potting-I was called an animal today if that counts.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#14 flowerdry

flowerdry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 428 posts
  • LocationVirginia

Posted 23 March 2015 - 07:40 PM

What a great group of people!  I wasn't looking for validation, truly just sharing, but wow!  Thank you all.  I really LIKE all your messages, but the silly rules only let me "like" a limited number. (Who knew...and WHY?)  So please consider yourself "liked" by this imitation potter (without a beard, although I'd love to grow one.)


Doris Hackworth

"Promoting the joy of handmade pottery"


#15 Mudslinger Ceramics

Mudslinger Ceramics

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 159 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 23 March 2015 - 09:16 PM

Good post to read, congratulations flowerdry!

 

I too thought I couldn't be a 'real' potter unless I followed the 4 Heads of Ceramics lecturers in my studies in their male dominated, Bernard Leach, dust covered, rock crushing, gas, wood, bricks and mud hauling, Song dynasty emphasis on 'real' ceramics  (almost felt I should've glued on a beard too)  .....and in consquence I have several books on glaze chemistry, a small glaze lab, SO MANY half used bags and bottles of materials, years of nerve wracking frustration over glaze failures etc ........to finally have come to your conclusion a few years ago......  Duh!!   Have finally settled on a wide firing clear with a few mods for my production work and the beautiful colours, textures and surfaces of unglazed clay in my gallery work. 

 

Now, to be fair, I'm certainly NOT sorry to have had that grounding in ceramics from my years of study, my mad urge for experiementation in those early years was well satisfied!..... but I do wish the spectre of tough bloke-y, make from raw, gas/wood, guts and sweat C10-C13 Chinese ideal of 'real' ceramics will continue to fade as time goes on. Don't get me wrong, ash glazes can be beautiful but so too can polished porcelain or lush e/w glazes... there's enough room in ceramics for a lot of love.

 

Glad you worked things out flowerdry, you sound 'real' to me.

 

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.'

                                                                              - Robert Henri


#16 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg,Manitoba,Canada

Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:06 PM

Made me laugh! Define REAL potter.

TJR.



#17 vinks

vinks

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 72 posts
  • LocationIndia/Singapore

Posted 24 March 2015 - 06:28 AM

Flowerdry,you quoted:

 

I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I am at peace with never becoming a "real potter".

"Just interchange the words.......You have become a real potter,as far as you are at peace .You have lifted off a huge burden from your shoulders.

 

For me the above sentence should comply on you,now.As far as you are burdenless and at peace,you are a real potter.As far as clay journey brings happiness to our souls and one is at peace with oneself :) ,nothing else should matter.YOU ARE A REAL POTTER,FLOWERDRY!!

 

Keep potting !!


Keep Smiling!!


#18 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg,Manitoba,Canada

Posted 24 March 2015 - 08:02 AM

I have only shaved twice in my whole life and do have a short beard.I never thought it as a prerequisite to potting-I was called an animal today if that counts.

Mark

Mark;

What were those two times when you shaved your beard? Probably something serious,like a girlfriend.

TJR.



#19 DirtRoads

DirtRoads

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 320 posts
  • LocationEdinburg, MS

Posted 24 March 2015 - 11:36 AM

http://community.cer...eady-made-poll/

 

You are not the only potter here that does not mix their own glazes.    While the majority do mix, 47% of the potters that responded buy at least some ready made.   I find layering glazes a way to achieve a custom look.   I have mixed some glazes but find my layered glazes sell better.  To be honest, I don't even buy dry mixes.   I just reordered a glaze and I found the cost savings of the dry (including the shipping) to be an insignificant amount versus the time I would have to spend. 



#20 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,304 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 24 March 2015 - 02:26 PM

 

I have only shaved twice in my whole life and do have a short beard.I never thought it as a prerequisite to potting-I was called an animal today if that counts.

Mark

Mark;

What were those two times when you shaved your beard? Probably something serious,like a girlfriend.

TJR.

 

First time was when I turned 30 to see what I looked like.

Second time was after being married 10 years to surprise my wife who had never seen my face.

Both times where BAD ideas.I'm done with the thought of it again

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users