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rayaldridge

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  1. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from elaine clapper in Turned Foot Rings On Mugs; Elegance Or Affectation?   
    What a great video.  Thanks much for posting that.
     
    It reaffirms the notion I've always had that one of the most important aspects of making anything you might want to call art is the intensity of observation that the artist brings to it.
  2. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from yappystudent in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Joy, I use a similar technique with plastic stencils.  But I do it with slip on the leatherhard pot.  The stencils stick to the pot very well, using a little water to stick them on.  I then spray or dip with colored slip.  When the slip is set, I peels off the stencil, which can be re-used.  I often make marks on the reserved image to enhance or define it.
     

  3. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from yappystudent in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Words to live by, and not just in the studio.
  4. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Jo-Ann in Submit Your Community Challenge Ideas   
    I hope the next challenge will avoid too specific a goal.  I participated in a couple, but I just wasn't interested enough to devote time to a specific form that was narrowly defined.  And at the moment, not interested in tile, though I've made quite a few over the years.
     
    I tend to find the more nebulously defined challenges more thought provoking.
     
    Still, my suggestion is the albarello, or medicine jar.  It's a simple form, but can take many shapes and if we're not sticklers for authenticity, many decorative approaches.
  5. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from dricherson in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Joy, I use a similar technique with plastic stencils.  But I do it with slip on the leatherhard pot.  The stencils stick to the pot very well, using a little water to stick them on.  I then spray or dip with colored slip.  When the slip is set, I peels off the stencil, which can be re-used.  I often make marks on the reserved image to enhance or define it.
     

  6. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Babs in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Well, it is, plus these plastic stencils are reusable multiple times.  The idea came from the paper stencils described by (I think) Bernard Leach.
     
    As an additional tip, you can find plastic you can run through an inkjet printer to make these stencils.  The plastic is slightly too heavy for optimal use on complexly curved surfaces, but for the larger scale work and cylindrical pots like mugs that I use it for, it works okay.
  7. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from bciskepottery in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Joy, I use a similar technique with plastic stencils.  But I do it with slip on the leatherhard pot.  The stencils stick to the pot very well, using a little water to stick them on.  I then spray or dip with colored slip.  When the slip is set, I peels off the stencil, which can be re-used.  I often make marks on the reserved image to enhance or define it.
     

  8. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Babs in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Joy, I use a similar technique with plastic stencils.  But I do it with slip on the leatherhard pot.  The stencils stick to the pot very well, using a little water to stick them on.  I then spray or dip with colored slip.  When the slip is set, I peels off the stencil, which can be re-used.  I often make marks on the reserved image to enhance or define it.
     

  9. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Pres in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    Joy, I use a similar technique with plastic stencils.  But I do it with slip on the leatherhard pot.  The stencils stick to the pot very well, using a little water to stick them on.  I then spray or dip with colored slip.  When the slip is set, I peels off the stencil, which can be re-used.  I often make marks on the reserved image to enhance or define it.
     

  10. Like
    rayaldridge reacted to Babs in Latest Studio Tricks And Tips   
    When being taught how to use an electric beater, don't laugh there is a skill within, the teacher emphasised the fact that the Contents of the bowl was what was being beaten not the bowl sides and bottom.
    I then passed this onto a potter who watched dismayed as the contents of her bucket, glaze , spewed onto the pottery floor as her paint stirring drill piece ate the bottom of the bucket!
    DOn't think my timing was appreciated.
    So my tip really is, advice should only be given when sought...
  11. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Mark (Marko) Madrazo in Submit Your Community Challenge Ideas   
    I hope the next challenge will avoid too specific a goal.  I participated in a couple, but I just wasn't interested enough to devote time to a specific form that was narrowly defined.  And at the moment, not interested in tile, though I've made quite a few over the years.
     
    I tend to find the more nebulously defined challenges more thought provoking.
     
    Still, my suggestion is the albarello, or medicine jar.  It's a simple form, but can take many shapes and if we're not sticklers for authenticity, many decorative approaches.
  12. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Lucille Oka in Turned Foot Rings On Mugs; Elegance Or Affectation?   
    I used to fall into the affectation camp.  Back in the day, if I could sell a mug for 6 bucks, I was pretty happy.  I can throw pretty fast, and I'd throw the mug, undercut the foot slightly with a wooden knife, wire it off, and it was done, except for the handle.  I'd wipe the edge with a sponge, and leave the wire marks.  High volume was the key to making my ration of macaroni and cheese.
     
    But recently I got into throwing yunomis-- handle-less cups for tea and wine  Most of the great potters whose yunomis I looked at used turned footrings, even if some of them were what I would call a little crude.  I really liked the way these cups looked.  I've always felt that a nicely turned footring was a prerequisite for an elegant bowl, but it never occurred to me before that they would work well with mugs.  I tended to think stability was the big thing with mugs, so the wider the base, the better.
     
    In any case, I started looking at the yunomis I was throwing, and realized that some of the forms would work pretty well for mugs, too, with the addition of a handle. 
     
    Lately I've been dividing my drinking vessel production into mugs and yunomis, both with turned foot rings.  I really like them.  Am I wrong to think that I have improved my forms? (I know, I know... each potter has to decide if a particular form demands a foot ring, but I apparently operate on a much more concrete form of esthetic judgement.)
     
    What are your thoughts?
     
     




  13. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Rae Reich in A Question About Glazing An Existing Brick   
    All you need for a test is a small chip.  Go to one of those places where you can paint slipcast lowfire pottery (FiredUp is one franchise, I believe) buy a bowl, put your tiny chip of brick in the bowl, and ask them to fire it.  maybe put the chip through a few hours in your kitchen oven first to make sure it's completely dry.
     
    If it comes through the firing without damage, you'll be good to go.
     
    Check craigslist for kilns.  Sometimes you can get an old manual kiln for not much.
  14. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Rae Reich in Akira Satake Kohiki Slip Work (From Going Price Of A Mug)   
    The Akira technique is a very specific technique, but as a generality, I'm really enjoying working with slip these days.
     
    The thing I like most about it is that it gives you so much control over surface.  Slip applied to leatherhard clay can be manipulated so easily and in so many ways.  For example, one of the oft-repeated queries here is how to make a clean line between a liner glaze and an outside glaze.  If you get your color from slip, it's easy to dip or spray the slip on the outside, and then sponge it off along the rim and inside.  Then you can use a single glaze to get that sharp demarcation.  I also like to comb through wet slip, or carve through set slip.  Lately I've been spraying on several layers of slip in different colors.
     
    I've worked out other ways to get richer effects from slip.  I have a deep blue slip that contains fairly high amounts of titania.  When used with glazes that are on the edge of matteness and slow-cooled, the underlying slip affects the glaze enough that the surface over the slip will go matte while the rest of the glaze remains shiny.
     
    Anyway, I think slip is a very useful material and probably should be in every potter's skill set.
  15. Like
    rayaldridge reacted to bciskepottery in Akira Satake Kohiki Slip Work (From Going Price Of A Mug)   
    A somewhat long missive.  If you get the opportunity to take a workshop with Akira, I highly recommend it.  His workshops are hands-on and he is very generous with his knowledge of technique and craftsmanship. 
     
    First, here is Akira's slip recipe: 
    Goldart, 6 lbs. (30%)
    Kaolin - EPK, 10 lbs. (50%) [Akira also uses Grolleg or Tile 6 for a whiter slip and Helmar for woodfired items]
    Custer Feldspar, 2 lbs. (10%)
    Silica, 2 lbs. (10%)
     
    His recipe makes a five-gallon bucket of slip; I usually half the quantity and make a smaller 2 1/2 gallon bucket.  For the 2 1/2 gallon bucket, I add between 4 and 4 1/2 quarts of water; for a five-gallon bucket, add 8 to 9 quarts.  I generally hold off on the last quart, adding a bit at a time to get the right consistency.  This will be a thicker slip than you are probably used to making -- almost yogurt consistency.  I've found that leaving it a bit on the thicker side and then adding some water as needed is better than making it too thin and watery.  After mixing, it is sieve time (30 or 40 mesh should be fine); this is somewhat labor intensive but the creamy slip you get as a result is well worth the effort.  I let the bucket stand overnight and remove any excess water that rises to the top of the bucket.
     
    Recently, I tried using Grolleg instead of EPK and it worked fine; fired a little whiter, which was expected. 
     
    For clay bodies, I've used Standard 153 (^10), Laguna Dark Brown (which fires to black at ^10), and Highwater Hestia (^10) that is fired in reduction.  I've played with a couple items at ^6 using Standard 266 and Highwater's Red Rock that is fired in my electric kiln.
     
    So, start with a slab . . . either from a slab roller or made by hand.  I use a slab roller because I vary the thickness of the slab just a bit depending on what I plan to make.  For things like boxes and ikebana vases, I prefer a thicker slab to start as it allows for a wider edge seam for joining (I use a 45 degree bevel cutter).  Also, as described below, when you stretch the slabs after the slip firms up, the slab compresses and becomes thinner.  So, you want to allow for that compression at the outset.  I generally set the slab roller for a generous 1/4 inch slab for general items and between 1/4 and 3/8 inches for boxes.  My slab sizes generally run 12"x15" (my slab roller is small); I've found that to be a good size for doing the stretch part described below. 
     
    I place a couple sheets of newspaper on a table and then set the slab(s) on top of the newspaper.  On top of your slab, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup slip.  Glop it in the middle and spread it around evenly -- I use a three-inch spackling knife (you can also use a wide hake brush); don't worry about going over the ends of the slab.  At this point, just try to even out the slip, don't worry about the surface.  (If you want to do some very precise patterns, like the seashell Akira uses on his teapots, use less slip or a thinner slip.)  After allowing the slip some time to settle -- maybe 30 minutes, I go back with a second brush to make my final pattern.  Lately, I've been use a stiff brush . . . a basting brush from the kitchen.  Using that brush, I make my patterns . . . generally just a fluid arm (not wrist) movement from right to left, left to right, starting at the top and working toward the bottom.  You can criss cross or just make parallel lines.  If there is too much slip building up on the brush, remove it and continue.  At this point, the brush lines will begin to develop; work (but don't overwork) until you see a pattern that you like.  If you work it too long, the slip will become less thick and flatten. 
     
    At this point, you need to let the slab set . . . I can leave mine out overnight in the studio; how long this takes will depend on temperature and humidity (during the DC summer, it can set in a few hours; during the winter, I've let them set out a couple days in the garage studio).  You want the slab to get about medium leather hard.  Too soft and the slip will not create the breaks you want when the slab is stretched; too hard, the slab will crack and tear.  If the slab does dry faster than you thought, you can use a water spritzer to rehydrate the slab (spritz both front and back to restore even moisture).  If you can bend the slab and the slip does nothing, its too soft; if you bend the slab and it breaks, too hard. 
     
    Once the slab is set up, the next step is to stretch it.  This is how Akira creates those beautiful patterns.  For stretching, gently toss the slab across a plain piece of unfinished plywood, 24"x24"x3/8".  First, I drop the slab on the plywood from a height of about 12 inches (just a plain pancake drop). . . this wakes up the clay.  Then I turn the clay over so the slip is face down on a piece of thin foam.  I take a cardboard tube . . . mine are the tubes from rolls of shrink-wrap, about 4" or so in diameter (you could substitute a piece of PVC wrapped in newspaper so the clay won't stick) and if roll the slab around the tube.  This helps break the slip along its texture lines and also begins to give the slab memory of being a curved surface and not flat slab.  [if you are not doing round work, no need for this step.]  Remove the slab from the tube and place it slip-side up on the plywood.  The next step is stretch the slab.  To do this, pick up the slab by the sides and gently toss it -- at an angle -- against the plywood slab so that the slab stretches as it strikes the surface of the wood.  I generally hold the slab in my outstretched arms and toss it at an angle towards me.  Rotate the slab 180 degrees, and repeat.  With each strike against the plywood, you will begin to see the slip stretch and pull away from the underlying clay slab.  Repeat until you get the look you like but don't get greedy . . . too much stretching and the slab will tear or it will compress unevenly.  This is the hardest part of the process and it takes some time to  get a feel for doing.  I've noticed a tendency for slabs to thin more in the middle and tear along the edges if you stretch it too many times. 
     
    Once you've gotten this far, your slab is ready and you can make whatever form you want.  If the slab is very pliable, you can let it set up for a while.  For joining edges, Akira uses an overlap technique where he takes a rasp (Sherrill's Mud Tool rasp) and shaves down opposite sides about 1 inch, then scores and adds slip to join.  Basically, you want the thickness of the join to be the same as the thickness of the slab wall . . . if it is thicker, it can distort while drying. 
     
    Bisque firing is your usual bisque firing.  Once bisqued, Akira applies a red iron oxide wash to the vessels and sponges off the wash from the high areas of the surface, leaving the RIO to penetrate into the exposed clay body.  I've used straight RIO and water, as well as a combination of RIO, Frit 3124, and water.  Insides are glazed -- he seems to favor shino or iron red, but its really up to you. 
     
    Akira fires in reduction to cone 10 in either his diesel fueled kiln.  I fire my kohiki work in reduction in a natural gas kiln.  I've been trying to get a similar look in an electric kiln by applying a soda ash wash to the outside to get a similar sheen on the slip; I'm not quite there yet. 
     
    The two keys seem to be catching the slab at the right time to begin stretching, and then stretching itself to get the slip to break and expose the underlying clay body.  When I do kohiki, I'll make 6 or 8 slabs at a time, fills up a 6' folding table top.  Once stretched, I'll store them in a plastic bin, with sheets of plastic separating each slab, to keep them moist while building various boxes, bottles, vases, etc.  The process is a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort, in my opinion.  And, I've adapted and added to what Akira taught in the workshop.  Right now, I'm trying thicker slip applications so the surface is more 3-D feeling. 
     





  16. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from flowerdry in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Personally, I love to make mugs, and in fact, mugs, cups, and bowls make up most of what I throw.  I haven't made a vase in 20 years, even though bud vases were quick and easy to make and sold well (maybe that's changed.)  I imagine that if I were depending on my pots to pay the rent, I might take a less purist view, but for now I'm only really interested in making objects that people will use daily in such personal settings as the kitchen and home.
     
    That preference was likely fostered by our family's devotion to good food and fairly formal dining habits.  Our kids always had to sit down at the kitchen table if they wanted dinner, and cooking was a large part of our amusements.  (Our oldest is now a sous chef in NYC.)  Our cupboards are stuffed full of bowls and mugs that either had some minor flaw or that my wife liked well enough to keep.
     
    Anyway, the point I'm laboriously getting around to is that the business of making a production decision is not all accounting.  If you don't like mugs, you shouldn't make them even if your time and materials analysis shows you that doing so would be profitable.  If you don't want to make soap dishes, you probably shouldn't, even if that would be very profitable.  Why?  Because our studios are not factories.  Because what most of us seem to be doing is trying to make art, not just a living.  Art is something that is hard to fake; if you don't really like those soap dishes, you won't put into them whatever mysterious thing it is that makes an object worth making by hand.  That lack of love will show, and sales will suffer.
     
    I think this notion is related to the ideas John and others have put forward about making what you want and finding a specific market rather than making what you believe the general market wants.  That process does narrow the pool of customers, and sometimes they can be harder to locate.  But by making what you want to make, you have an advantage over the craftsperson who is only making whatever he or she thinks will sell. 
     
    That advantage will inevitably become visible in the worth of the work you do.
  17. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Chris Campbell in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Personally, I love to make mugs, and in fact, mugs, cups, and bowls make up most of what I throw.  I haven't made a vase in 20 years, even though bud vases were quick and easy to make and sold well (maybe that's changed.)  I imagine that if I were depending on my pots to pay the rent, I might take a less purist view, but for now I'm only really interested in making objects that people will use daily in such personal settings as the kitchen and home.
     
    That preference was likely fostered by our family's devotion to good food and fairly formal dining habits.  Our kids always had to sit down at the kitchen table if they wanted dinner, and cooking was a large part of our amusements.  (Our oldest is now a sous chef in NYC.)  Our cupboards are stuffed full of bowls and mugs that either had some minor flaw or that my wife liked well enough to keep.
     
    Anyway, the point I'm laboriously getting around to is that the business of making a production decision is not all accounting.  If you don't like mugs, you shouldn't make them even if your time and materials analysis shows you that doing so would be profitable.  If you don't want to make soap dishes, you probably shouldn't, even if that would be very profitable.  Why?  Because our studios are not factories.  Because what most of us seem to be doing is trying to make art, not just a living.  Art is something that is hard to fake; if you don't really like those soap dishes, you won't put into them whatever mysterious thing it is that makes an object worth making by hand.  That lack of love will show, and sales will suffer.
     
    I think this notion is related to the ideas John and others have put forward about making what you want and finding a specific market rather than making what you believe the general market wants.  That process does narrow the pool of customers, and sometimes they can be harder to locate.  But by making what you want to make, you have an advantage over the craftsperson who is only making whatever he or she thinks will sell. 
     
    That advantage will inevitably become visible in the worth of the work you do.
  18. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from GEP in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Personally, I love to make mugs, and in fact, mugs, cups, and bowls make up most of what I throw.  I haven't made a vase in 20 years, even though bud vases were quick and easy to make and sold well (maybe that's changed.)  I imagine that if I were depending on my pots to pay the rent, I might take a less purist view, but for now I'm only really interested in making objects that people will use daily in such personal settings as the kitchen and home.
     
    That preference was likely fostered by our family's devotion to good food and fairly formal dining habits.  Our kids always had to sit down at the kitchen table if they wanted dinner, and cooking was a large part of our amusements.  (Our oldest is now a sous chef in NYC.)  Our cupboards are stuffed full of bowls and mugs that either had some minor flaw or that my wife liked well enough to keep.
     
    Anyway, the point I'm laboriously getting around to is that the business of making a production decision is not all accounting.  If you don't like mugs, you shouldn't make them even if your time and materials analysis shows you that doing so would be profitable.  If you don't want to make soap dishes, you probably shouldn't, even if that would be very profitable.  Why?  Because our studios are not factories.  Because what most of us seem to be doing is trying to make art, not just a living.  Art is something that is hard to fake; if you don't really like those soap dishes, you won't put into them whatever mysterious thing it is that makes an object worth making by hand.  That lack of love will show, and sales will suffer.
     
    I think this notion is related to the ideas John and others have put forward about making what you want and finding a specific market rather than making what you believe the general market wants.  That process does narrow the pool of customers, and sometimes they can be harder to locate.  But by making what you want to make, you have an advantage over the craftsperson who is only making whatever he or she thinks will sell. 
     
    That advantage will inevitably become visible in the worth of the work you do.
  19. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from bciskepottery in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Personally, I love to make mugs, and in fact, mugs, cups, and bowls make up most of what I throw.  I haven't made a vase in 20 years, even though bud vases were quick and easy to make and sold well (maybe that's changed.)  I imagine that if I were depending on my pots to pay the rent, I might take a less purist view, but for now I'm only really interested in making objects that people will use daily in such personal settings as the kitchen and home.
     
    That preference was likely fostered by our family's devotion to good food and fairly formal dining habits.  Our kids always had to sit down at the kitchen table if they wanted dinner, and cooking was a large part of our amusements.  (Our oldest is now a sous chef in NYC.)  Our cupboards are stuffed full of bowls and mugs that either had some minor flaw or that my wife liked well enough to keep.
     
    Anyway, the point I'm laboriously getting around to is that the business of making a production decision is not all accounting.  If you don't like mugs, you shouldn't make them even if your time and materials analysis shows you that doing so would be profitable.  If you don't want to make soap dishes, you probably shouldn't, even if that would be very profitable.  Why?  Because our studios are not factories.  Because what most of us seem to be doing is trying to make art, not just a living.  Art is something that is hard to fake; if you don't really like those soap dishes, you won't put into them whatever mysterious thing it is that makes an object worth making by hand.  That lack of love will show, and sales will suffer.
     
    I think this notion is related to the ideas John and others have put forward about making what you want and finding a specific market rather than making what you believe the general market wants.  That process does narrow the pool of customers, and sometimes they can be harder to locate.  But by making what you want to make, you have an advantage over the craftsperson who is only making whatever he or she thinks will sell. 
     
    That advantage will inevitably become visible in the worth of the work you do.
  20. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from GiselleNo5 in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Personally, I love to make mugs, and in fact, mugs, cups, and bowls make up most of what I throw.  I haven't made a vase in 20 years, even though bud vases were quick and easy to make and sold well (maybe that's changed.)  I imagine that if I were depending on my pots to pay the rent, I might take a less purist view, but for now I'm only really interested in making objects that people will use daily in such personal settings as the kitchen and home.
     
    That preference was likely fostered by our family's devotion to good food and fairly formal dining habits.  Our kids always had to sit down at the kitchen table if they wanted dinner, and cooking was a large part of our amusements.  (Our oldest is now a sous chef in NYC.)  Our cupboards are stuffed full of bowls and mugs that either had some minor flaw or that my wife liked well enough to keep.
     
    Anyway, the point I'm laboriously getting around to is that the business of making a production decision is not all accounting.  If you don't like mugs, you shouldn't make them even if your time and materials analysis shows you that doing so would be profitable.  If you don't want to make soap dishes, you probably shouldn't, even if that would be very profitable.  Why?  Because our studios are not factories.  Because what most of us seem to be doing is trying to make art, not just a living.  Art is something that is hard to fake; if you don't really like those soap dishes, you won't put into them whatever mysterious thing it is that makes an object worth making by hand.  That lack of love will show, and sales will suffer.
     
    I think this notion is related to the ideas John and others have put forward about making what you want and finding a specific market rather than making what you believe the general market wants.  That process does narrow the pool of customers, and sometimes they can be harder to locate.  But by making what you want to make, you have an advantage over the craftsperson who is only making whatever he or she thinks will sell. 
     
    That advantage will inevitably become visible in the worth of the work you do.
  21. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from TwinRocks in Going Price Of Mugs   
    This is why I would never do an non-juried show, back when I was doing shows.
     
    It's a bit of a pain to submit photos (slides in those days.)  But it's the best way to be sure you won't be setting up next to resellers or amateurs who have very low prices (because they don't need to make a living at it.)
  22. Like
    rayaldridge reacted to neilestrick in Going Price Of Mugs   
    5 years ago I was selling mugs for $30. 3 years ago I dropped the price to $26, and I now sell a lot more mugs. I can make them pretty quickly, but I do have other forms that are much more profitable. For instance, I get $36 for oil bottles, which take only about 30 seconds longer to throw, but take 1/3 as long to trim, and a little longer to glaze. All said and done they are still faster than mugs, though, and people don't blink at $36. I sell more of them than any other form. It seems like the more functional something is, and the more they will use it, the less they are willing to pay. I can get $100 for a vase, but put a spout and handle on it for a pitcher and I can only get $70.
  23. Like
    rayaldridge reacted to High Bridge Pottery in Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?   
    Sorry David my blabbing about alumina and silica was not related to your colourant tests. Will have to try some of those out for sure. I am trying to make my own test where the silica and alumina ratio will stay the same and the flux value will change. Found out it's a bit harder in practice as feldspar don't play nice. It brings far too much silica and alumina
     
    I dunno Ray, maybe my thinking is wrong. I thought it didn't have enough time to melt the thicker glaze compared to the thin.
     
    I am working night shift again tonight so I made this excel spread sheet. Pretty much does what Ian Curries page does except I can choose the values for each glaze.
     
    All you need to do is add in the four glaze corner recipes, weight of dry glaze (blue boxes) and total ml of water and it works out the rest
     

     
     

  24. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Surubee in Turned Foot Rings On Mugs; Elegance Or Affectation?   
    Rebekah, I can certainly understand that point of view, since for most of my life I held a very similar one.
     
    But... I have to disagree with the implication that a beer stein can't be great art.  There are very ordinary functional pots that are in my opinion greater works of art than any number of works made with the intention of creating art.  A good example is the Song Dynasty rice bowl, of which millions were made by anonymous potters.  Some of them are staggeringly beautiful, and in my view unmatched by almost everything made by studio potters in the last century or so.
     
    Anyway, now that I'm in my dotage, I've resolved to make everything that comes from my kilns as beautiful as possible, given my limited skills... even the humblest of forms.
     
    That doesn't mean that I don't care about whether or not a form can be made profitably.  I do.  In fact, my thinking about the mugs involves certain financial considerations.  My mugs are porcelain.  Porcelain wares have certain connotations and contexts that make it reasonable to apply a more careful degree of finish than might be the case with stoneware.  People expect a certain boldness and spontaneity with stoneware, but with porcelain, they expect refinement.  (Of course, there's nothing wrong with confounding expectations.)
     
    The amount of time it takes to turn a foot on these mugs is not enormous, especially with the right equipment and an efficient set-up.  I think I can ask and get more for these mugs than I could for mugs finished flat on the wheel.  I believe the couple of minutes it takes to turn the feet will be adequately repaid, though of course I could be wrong.  The initial reaction I'm getting is encouraging.
     
    But perhaps more important than any financial consideration is that I'm really proud of these mugs, I look forward to making them, decorating them, firing them, and that makes it more fun to crank them out.  I'm inclined to make more of them than if I were regarding them as something I had to make in order to pay the rent.
     
    I guess what I'm trying to get across here is that making a decent living with functional wares is not easy, even if you are very skilled. For folks who aren't really interested in making mugs for their own sake, they might be better off working at McDonalds, and spending their actual studio time on the forms they really want to make.
     
    This is in no way a disagreement with what you said.  It's more in the line of explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing.
  25. Like
    rayaldridge got a reaction from Rebekah Krieger in Turned Foot Rings On Mugs; Elegance Or Affectation?   
    Rebekah, I can certainly understand that point of view, since for most of my life I held a very similar one.
     
    But... I have to disagree with the implication that a beer stein can't be great art.  There are very ordinary functional pots that are in my opinion greater works of art than any number of works made with the intention of creating art.  A good example is the Song Dynasty rice bowl, of which millions were made by anonymous potters.  Some of them are staggeringly beautiful, and in my view unmatched by almost everything made by studio potters in the last century or so.
     
    Anyway, now that I'm in my dotage, I've resolved to make everything that comes from my kilns as beautiful as possible, given my limited skills... even the humblest of forms.
     
    That doesn't mean that I don't care about whether or not a form can be made profitably.  I do.  In fact, my thinking about the mugs involves certain financial considerations.  My mugs are porcelain.  Porcelain wares have certain connotations and contexts that make it reasonable to apply a more careful degree of finish than might be the case with stoneware.  People expect a certain boldness and spontaneity with stoneware, but with porcelain, they expect refinement.  (Of course, there's nothing wrong with confounding expectations.)
     
    The amount of time it takes to turn a foot on these mugs is not enormous, especially with the right equipment and an efficient set-up.  I think I can ask and get more for these mugs than I could for mugs finished flat on the wheel.  I believe the couple of minutes it takes to turn the feet will be adequately repaid, though of course I could be wrong.  The initial reaction I'm getting is encouraging.
     
    But perhaps more important than any financial consideration is that I'm really proud of these mugs, I look forward to making them, decorating them, firing them, and that makes it more fun to crank them out.  I'm inclined to make more of them than if I were regarding them as something I had to make in order to pay the rent.
     
    I guess what I'm trying to get across here is that making a decent living with functional wares is not easy, even if you are very skilled. For folks who aren't really interested in making mugs for their own sake, they might be better off working at McDonalds, and spending their actual studio time on the forms they really want to make.
     
    This is in no way a disagreement with what you said.  It's more in the line of explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing.
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