One of Steven's comments about one of my pots was that the reason that he liked a particular pot better than another one was that the woman applique was more contemporary. It got me thinking - my influence was my mother as she is an artist and she loved to draw figures. Her favorite painters are Picasso and Gustav Klimt. Here are two of my favorite paintings that she did many years ago. After the 1970's she rarely painted any more as she had to look after my father who had had a stroke and so perhaps her figure style was somewhat dated, though I don' really think so. Sadly now close to 90 she no longer has the energy to paint.
I was determined with this last vase to make the appliqued figures more contemporary - perhaps with torn or unfinished edges - to give it a more abstract look. However it ended up even worse - over designed, too cutsy. In making these pots, I find that often even though I hate what I am making I find that I cannot help myself and cannot move away from the direction that I am heading.
The rim also has way too much stuff. I was not too satisfied with the wavy top and so decided to cut some out on the back - that was mistake! This is the first vase where I have not thickened the rim by adding extra clay strips. The thin rim just does not do much for the pot - just a bit too delicate.
Whenever I added leatherhard pieces to the rim, usually I got some cracking at the joint. So for the last two pieces I tried something new. I rolled out a coil and added it fresh to the rim. So far, the first pot - no cracks and next one comes out next week and we'll see! Otherwise I'll have to start using paperclay.
So I have ended up with a vase with two women - I tried to make them look like they have berries. My mother years ago had painted a picture of women picking blueberries and so I thought I would maybe reference that. Sort of blueberry bushes at the sides and back. However it looks like a wedding instead.
Actually I may be contemporary in a social sense - a pot with two woman getting married!
In Dec 2009 I renamed my first blog to Centered - Focus on Clay and Creativity - as I have finished my year long journey workshop with Steven Hill. The focus will continue to be on thoughts about my work - about creativity, design and function...................
I have been making pottery off and on for 40 years, exploring many different aspects of ceramics. I named my pottery business after "The Newfoundout" - the secluded valley high in the Opeongo Hills of eastern Ontario where we own an abandoned farm and where in 2007 I built a wood-fired kiln. I normally fire in a gas kiln in Deep River, Ontario, at the Deep River Potters' Guild, but do several wood firings in the summer.
This blog originally documented my year long "journey workshop" with Steven Hill. It was an incredible "journey" which had a profound effect on my work and as was the North Bay mentorship. I highly recommend this type of workshop to anyone who is interested in exploring their work and creativity.