Monday, November 7, 2011

Pots in Motion - Steven Hill - MISSA Part III

Between 1985 and 2000 I had taken a 15 year hiatus from pottery and what a change had occurred in those years!  Brown pots where out, colour was in, throwing rings were replace with trimming marks, iron spots were banished, and static, footed pots were replaced by dancing pots in motion.

The super weekend workshop with Steven Hill embodied all those new things, especially colour and motion! His signature melon pitcher was broken down into various parts - all designed to show motion. Even little details added to the overall effect. And all the parts knit together seamlessly to result in a  spectacular pot. It was not an easy feat for the rest of us to attempt, but attempt with did. Though we may not have had much success we all learned a lot.

His yunomis were an easier project to emulate and I have been making lots of them since I got back as I love making the undulating lip that he showed us. (A yunomi is a form of teabowl for every day use and it is usually taller than wide, with a trimmed foot. You hold it by the rim with your thumb and forefinger and support it with your little finger under the foot.) You can see some of his yunomis with that wonderful undulating and slightly flaring rim here (you need to scroll down past the cups):,_Tumblers,_and_Yunomis.html

Another fun part of the workshop was working with his slip which I had never tried before. Tear pieces of your clay body into small chunks and beat them up with water to a yogurt like thickness, screen and apply to the pot with your hand. Start smoothing, working it with a rib - it's harder than you think to get that fresh, spontaneous look of ripples and drips.  I see that he has a video out now about his techniques called "Surface Techniques with Steven Hill". You can see an excerpt here at Ceramic Arts Daily. 
Steven's signature melon pot under construction. No one makes a better or more graceful spout than Steven.

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