Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I replaced our old spoon jar with this new one yesterday. We had out grown the old one and I thought it'd be nice to have some of my latest work in the kitchen too.
That honey pot is one I made a couple years ago. Salt fired, no decoration, a good, functional, straightforward pot.

In our conversation yesterday Doug and I touched on the subject of constraints in our work. Doug mentioned his materials and I suspect he means the clay he uses and his choices of slips and glazes. I'm sure he'd also say the way he fires his pots and the shapes he makes. Working within certain limits gives much more freedom than some would imagine. It narrows things down enough for you to find your place but gives you enough room to explore and experiment without getting lost in the vast universe of ceramic possibilities.

I have expanded my limits this year to include more decoration and experimentation with forms that I would not have made in the past. The main constraint (I'm not sure that's the word I should be using, but I can't think of another just now). The main constraint for my work is still that it should be a functional pot. The pots should be welcoming to use and should work well. I'm pushing that a bit these days with shapes that are not as common as my old pots and of course the decoration has moved in.

It just occurred to me that I have placed some limits on how I am decorating but I haven't really given it much conscience thought or consideration. Maybe it's too early still. I am still experimenting, but I am doing so within the boundaries of decoration that is drawn on the pot, through the slip, sometimes adding stain and glaze later. I haven't really considered the subject matter constraints or if there should even be any. Something to think about.

I'm getting away a bit here but I guess that's fine as I think I've made my point and you can see how this idea of working within limits gives boundaries and freedom.

Well, off to work. More later on this maybe.