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Evelyne Schoenmann

Member Since 03 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 17 2014 12:14 PM

#71159 How Do You Develop You Own Aesthetic?

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 03 December 2014 - 10:45 AM

IMHO, a potter should choose a tradition -- Indian pottery, Japanese pottery, Stafforshire, Ancient Greek, Italian Majolica or whatever, and try to work in that tradition (I didn't say "imitate" it), before trying to reinvent the wheel, because those reinventions never come out round.



That is a very interesting idea, Earth&Ware: choose a tradition!


Since I'am doing mostly traditional firings, one cannot use my pieces in everyday life. Pit fired or barrel fired pieces are not functional ware. If I had to put a name to my "style", I would say Red Indian and Japanese pottery tradition. Despite the fact that both traditions work with un-perfect forms, I like the perfect forms very much. I used to be a piano teacher and loved to play Bach because his pieces are composed mathematically. Not so long ago I attended a workshop called: Golden Ratio, and I felt that ever since I am a ceramist, I try to balance the form, using involuntarily the golden ratio. Is it possible that customers buy (or don't buy) our pieces because they (the pieces) aren't harmonious enough? Maybe a customer can't explain why he/she likes some pieces, and some not. But deep in the gut region we have a need for harmony, and we recognize it when we see it. So, looking and striving for harmony and symmetry in the forms we are making, I think that is essential.



#71077 The Morning Aftermath...

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 02 December 2014 - 08:23 AM

Guinea, you wait till you are over 50 years old and then your fingers hurt in the morning without having thrown anything the day before :D ....

#70824 Lets Do The Happy Dance

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 27 November 2014 - 03:54 AM

@Florence: I think it really sad when you work hours on a piece, let it dry slowly, have ideas for the glazing later etc. and then, only because the studio boss is a bit over-self-confident, the piece breaks in the kiln. And I think it sad that you resign to it. Don't!!

Normally, staking pieces in bisque firings should be ok, if they all are really dry. Also air bubbles aren't always exploding. But heating the kiln too fast over 400°C is definitely a "neck-breaker". I can understand that you like to go to the studio, have companionship, can discuss ideas with other potters, but the price you pay (and I don't mean dollars) is too high. Can't you, for instance, find a few more clay passionate in your area, and you as a group would buy and use a kiln together? Or try to find somebody in your area who maybe has already a kiln in the garage or cellar and would be happy to fire your pieces for a few bucks. Put ads in the supermarket or the local newspaper.



#70613 Overcoming Insecurity

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 24 November 2014 - 05:30 AM

Guinea, I had to smile, reading that you lost your sleep over one (constructive, IMO!) critique. Reading all the posts here, I see that you got at least 90% positive messages about your work. Did you see that too? 


When you ask openly about the opinion of fellow potters, you first have to reflect if you can cope with critique (constructive or not). If not, it's better to not ask. If you just want to get "tender loving care", you should construct your question accordingly. But hey, you can't grow with only backslapping Guinea. My experience in life was, and still is, that people who told me what is good and what is not (yet) so good in my work helped me getting where I'am now much more than people who only wanted to be nice, and unfortunately didn't tell me that this object or that was really not good enough to "offer- to- MOMA" for example. We are friends here in this forum, not foes. And friends are here to tell you the truth, before a gallery owner or potential client will do. Friends are here to help you see and reflect and question your own work as long as it takes for you to be more self-confident and pleased with your work.


I wish you many well-meaning friends and a lot of success in finding your own confidence!



#70610 To Submit Or Not To Submit

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 24 November 2014 - 04:30 AM

A positive note on what can happen when you submit a piece: you can win!


It just happened to me. I submitted three pieces to the Potters Council Juried Show 2015 and the juror chose one of my pieces. (Happy dance!!).


So it's always 50:50 whether you win or not. I think best is to really first reflect where and why you want to submit an entry, and then: just do it!



#69412 To Submit Or Not To Submit

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 06 November 2014 - 07:47 AM

I think one can learn a lot in submitting pieces in contests. One can learn things about oneself: "why am I participating? what do I want - recognition or fame? Is what I'am doing art or craft"? (yes, I know....).

I myself am participating in 2-3 contests a year, mostly in Europe. But what I learned a few months ago from a juror is that you have zero chance to be not even contemplated if you don't have a "language". In my eyes having a language means doing the same idea over and over and over.

I have too much fantasy and I want experiment with too many techniques to have a language. So in future I will save the money for those contests. In addition, what I noticed here in Europe is that the country that's organizing the contest has the most winners and finalists.....  And: if you know the jurors, that helps too (a friend is helping another friend along). Since I don't know jurors, and if, don't want to win only because I know x or z, I think hard in future before applying. I think it's very sad that what's important regarding contests is to know the right people, or having won one or the other really crucial contest like Taiwan or Mino (again with a little help from friends). If I would be a juror, important for me would be the piece itself, the idea behind it, the technique, the work and time invested etc. and NOT the right connections in life.



#62228 What Is Your Throwing Position?

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 11 July 2014 - 11:17 AM

I'am throwing on a Shimpo adjustable chair. I'am very satisfied with it.


Nonetheless, last Saturday when I was throwing a (too) big chunk to throw "off the hump" I got myself an inflamed tendon from elbow to the fingers and now I'am wearing (Doc's order) an arm brace for 2 weeks (night and day) to not get that "electric cow  fence feeling" in my hand every time I move the fingers. No potting for me for 2-3 weeks. Take care of your backs folks but also take care of your hands and wrists.



#60791 Ceramics In Tuscany Iv Trip

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 14 June 2014 - 07:57 AM

Finally I'am able to post a few pictures of the Potters Council member visit to La Meridiana in Certaldo, beginning of June. Unfortunately most of the pictures are too big for the forum (even after resizing them to the smalles possible size). I will send all the pictures to Marcia on a CD and she can send them to the participants when she's back from Italy.

Below you see pictures of a wedging and throwing demo of Pietro Maddalena, and of the Obvara firing adventure. It was a beautiful day with lots of PC members in good spirits.

Attached Files

#58309 Accessories

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 11 May 2014 - 02:35 AM

Maybe not exactly what you are looking for, but beautiful nonetheless. He lives in London, UK, though....





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#54850 Porcelain And Slip Casting With Molds

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 17 March 2014 - 05:52 AM

You should definitely try the slip casting with porcelaine! Maybe you have a few trial and error moments at the beginning, but hey, that's life. We live and learn. Let it dry (after the joining together of the pieces) really good and maybe start the firing slow, so that the piece can dry up in the kiln some more. Good luck!



#54849 Video "a Love Story In Clay"

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 17 March 2014 - 05:32 AM

Dear Jayne, that video, both Bill and your work, your love and respect for each other, that is all so heartwarmingly beautiful! Thank you for sharing. And hey, you look great. Don't ever use make-up. It would spoil your looks.


All the best to both of you.



#53800 Act Of Vandalism . . . Or Is Turnabout Fair Play?

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 03 March 2014 - 11:44 AM

I'am with Neil. I think putting house paint on a 7000 year old vase is a vandalism too.


It's not ok to break no-matter-what if it's not in my possession (ownership). But not everything in my possession is free to vandalism and destruction. I'am not sure whether Ai got the house paint off of the vase/vessel again....

#53268 How Are You Managing Your Web Resources?

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 24 February 2014 - 08:27 AM

Hello Antoinette, welcome to the forum!


Chris: as you know, I do have a website and I also get contacts from and with customers (or more: interesting people) through the site. They call or email, refer to the objects on the website, and ask, where they can see and buy them. Most of them doesn't want to buy via website or phone, but want to hold and touch the piece before buying. I have been on a "market presence site" of a third party vendor here in Switzerland (a bit like etsy) for a year and got 0 (zero) contacts. I have no own "vendor page" on my site, but I'am thinking of maybe creating one. About etsy: I once ordered a mug from Hsin-Chuen Lin. On the etsy page the mug was tomato red (what I liked!). When I got it, the color was more like a dark eggplant. I was a bit disappointed and wouldn't buy again from just seeing a picture of an object! My personal oppinion: having a website is a very good thing, but one has to keep it up to date.


John: I finally got the ordered book about Wood Fired Ceramics (A. Salamoni) and I'am absolutely hooked now. Beautiful pieces, good stories and great kilns!



Now I have to go to my studio. I'am one of Antoinette's e-course students and if I don't do pinch pots today, she will be disappointed with me....

I have high regard for Antoinette, she is teaching us with heart and soul, and I commend her and her e-course to you all without hesitation!



#52041 Your Policy On A Customer-Broken Piece?

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 09 February 2014 - 04:03 AM

It really depends on the price. I would say up to 100 bucks I would let it go. Maybe they would be so happy that they come again and buy someting, or tell other people how nice I am and then THEY buy something. You never know! If the price is more than 100 bucks, well, that would end in a discussion how to solve the problem. I would ask the poeple who broke the piece to make a suggestion how to settle it amicably.


If I were you woody b, I would put the more expensive pieces not in front of the booth, where people stroll with bags and huge backpacks on their backs...


I wish you joy and success for your first real show woody! Fingers crossed.



#51822 In Five Words Describe What Drew You To Clay | February 6, 2014

Posted by Evelyne Schoenmann on 06 February 2014 - 02:35 PM

I like having muddy hands!





(Marcia: that was more than 5 words, your reply. :D)