Thursday, January 17, 2008


A couple people said they would like to hear me ramble so here goes. (I hate long blog posts, but this will probably be one)

I have always been drawn to pots with images. My first strong influences (other than Warren) were the pots of Michael Simon, Ron Meyers and Ruggles and Rankin. These potters made great forms and all incorporated some kind of imagery also. I copied much of these potters work in my early years. It was a way to learn. Over time I realized I had to find my own images and I struggled with that for a long time and eventually gave up. I've always felt like I had to make pots that were cohesive and unified in some way. ie a body of work that is recognizable as my own. My thinking was that I had to do this so I could sell to galleries and they would be able to reorder each year and get similar pots. In other words I felt like I had to get my sh*& together and make a living... I couldn't be trying on all these different hats all the time. So I gave up decorating and made pots that were mostly finished when they came off the wheel. (Something I learned from Mary Law). I let the kiln do the decorating, varied surfaces from the salt and soda.

(Aside: The funny thing is that I sell to very few galleries. Most of my work is sold from home. I could do almost anything I want. Clary Illian is a good example of a potter who tries all kinds of things (within certain parameters))

Note: Here's something I didn't know for a long time. Don't look to contemporary pots for inspiration. Or at least your main inspiration. Go back in time and look at historical pots. Or look for inspiration in other mediums, textiles have great imagery and patterns. etc. If you like a particular potter's work, find out what inspired them, then look at that, then look back farther still. (I should have gone to art school, I bet they tell you that in the first week. Prob. not. I don't know).

Okay so eventually I really began to like my image-less pots. I liked my forms and the firings. I was and still make pots for daily use and that too has been my main focus.

Still though I have had a desire to draw on pots for a number of reasons. I'm not sure that one of the reasons is a good one to admit but here it is: People/customers are drawn first to pots with an image/pattern. They see that first. Most anyhow. Then maybe they see the form. So I have thought I'd do better financially if I made pots with images. Yuck. Okay I'm human. The hard part is doing this in a way that one can live with. Making pots that feed my soul and still sell. Being happy with the deco. , form, firing etc. That should be the main goal. And really I have proven that I can do what I want and sell pots. I rarely do things for the sake of others. I make what I like and then educate my customers to why it's good. Then they get it and they come back for more.

Okay enough rambling for now. I will talk about my love for earthenware in another rambling post. And more of what it felt like to try something new and succeed on some levels and have problems on others. Stay tuned.