Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Gift of Really Seeing

As the year ends with Christmas shoppers hopefully buying lots of gifts of pottery I am wishing everyone success in their journey in clay. My aim for 2013 is to make better pots - especially in terms of form. For this I need to keep training my eye - need to really look at pots. Here is a cup that I bought about 8 years ago. I rarely make bright blue pots and so I guess that's why I sometimes buy them. At the time I thought it was not bad - not great but not bad. Years later I can see that it is a very bad handle and not a very stylish cup at that - not a good foot nor an inspiring form - so actually a pretty bad cup.
Cup with fly away handle - lacking a good foot and
uninspiring shape that I bought several years ago..
My mentorship with Steven Hill  really helped me to look critically at pots and actually see what I was looking at. I thought that over the past few years I had become much more adept at this - especially at discerning good form. I was quite disappointed recently when I bought a cup and totally missed the handle part of it. I bought it because of the colour - a rutile blue - which we have been trying to get in our gas kiln at the Guild with mixed success. It would be an example of what we would strive for. It was not until I brought it home and looked at it again that I realized how bad the handle was.

Handle all wonky - it would not have
 taken much for the potter to round out the handle at least.
Yet it was so obvious - I had been seduced by the colour. I was so disappointed in myself.. It just goes to show you really need to work at "seeing" a pot as a whole. So how can we expect the buying public to choose good design and a well made pot if an experienced  potter like myself can't see it sometimes. So here is wishing everyone  in 2013 the gift of really seeing - seeing good form, good function and making great pots.

1 comment:

  1. Such good advice! Happy Holidays. I look forward to seeing your new work.