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Marcia Selsor

Where Do You Look For New /old Ideas?

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I try not to look at other peoples work I am afraid it will influence me to much.  I'm one of those people who can copy what they see and sometimes unintentionally copy.  One time I made some fairly large catus and put it near a pool table, people would freak out about it thinking it was real.  We go to car shows all summer long so I take a sketch pad along and steal designs from classic cars.  I also use nature as an inspiration and books on primitive art.  Denice

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Denice,

I was lucky to grow up in a great city where an Archeology museum housed Greek, Egyptian, Cretian, Chinese, Japanese, Peruvian pottery were accessible and inspiring.Do you ever look at ancient patterns as a source to manipulate and incorporate?

Marcia

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I spend hours on the internet on pinterest, tumblr, instagram. Sometimes I like things even though it's not my style and I know I would not do that kind of stuff. It can still give me completely different ideas, by association. I also believe it is very hard to copy someone elses work in ceramics as there are so many different parameters that we don't know (we might try to make the same shape, but we don't have the same glazes, the same kiln, the same firing temperature, etc), so I do look a lot at other's people work.

Also, I follow a lot of "styling" and "trends" (Nelly Rodi, Trendtablet, Trendland) websites as it can give me ideas of atmospheres, colours schemes, etc, even though it has nothing to do with ceramics.

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I have more ideas than I know what to do with. Since I have been waiting a career-length to get back into art, and since I am still waiting to get my wheel & kiln installed (aaarrgghhh...should happen before Christmas), the best I can do is to try and restrain myself from screaming out loud at inappropriate times and inappropriate places.  My head is so stuffed with the backlog that I have decided to live at least 20 more years than seems likely, just so I can move it from my head to my fingers.  

 

To entertain myself, I made a slew of Pinterest boards ( http://www.pinterest.com/LeeUstinich/) titled Clay, Clay More, Clay Tech and Tools, Clay Kilns, Clay People etc., and, after looking at thousands and thousands of images, have come to the conclusion that there really is nothing new under the sun. Even the unintentional copying, or doing work that is similar enough to see someone else's style in it, probably can't be avoided totally. The worst (or best, maybe?) is seeing an idea that has never left my interior space pinned as some clay master's  fully articulated pricey piece! I saw one the other day that I swear was MINE. And what got me was how darn great it looked!!!  So does that mean when I finally make MY idea that I am subject to being looked at as "derivative", or "in the style of" so-and-so?  Phooey, I say! 

 

My core ideas usually involve commingling disparate notions, images, materials, and media. Comes in handy, too, when the large close-in photo, as art itself, looks better than the little clay piece LOL !       

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Marcia sometimes I get carried away with primitive symbols, several year ago I made some lamps covered with symbols that are found in the New Mexico are carved into the side of cliffs and rock walls.  I have book shelves full of reference books of  different primitive cultures and art history.  My in-laws were world travelers for 60 years and brought back tons of art work that I get to study.  Inspiration every where and so little time.  Denice

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I look in historical pottery books, then I make what I like.

Historical books like David Gaimsters German Stoneware covers a great deal of

European ceramics. Pre industrial utencils covers pottery, metals, and

glass from 1100 thru about 1900, by century, with a short intro in each

chapter. You'll notice slight changes in certain styles, like

pre-wire tools to after wire tools were used. And when handles

looked like they were rolled and attached to pulled handles were

applied.

As for the primitive pottery, I look at archaeological reports,

books relating to archaeology sites and digs, and museum collections.

Sometimes the collections mean more because of the close proximity with

actual sherds and vessels. Most sherds and vessels will tell you what the

maker was doing the last 10 to 15 minutes of manufacture, plus

the paste used for the pottery. The temper in the paste dictates how the vessel

will be fired and what fuel is used, and how long the firing lasted.

And the flashings and smudge marks will and

should confirm that information.

Sometimes, exhibits print catalogs of the exhibit for sale. Hero, Hawks,And Human

Hands is book of àn Indian artifact exhibit...held in Chicago? Several years ago.

A good deal shows Moundville type Mississian vessels ... Very impressive. Especially the effigy vessels... The American Indian Museum printed àn exhibit catalog on pottery but I can't remember its name. But those kind of books are the kind I research to make the types of pottery I make. I have contacted authors of certain books to inquire about vessels in their books...with good results. All have been very kind whether thru phone calls or written correspondence. Anyway, those are the places I look for ideas and inspiration.

Alabama

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