Clay has become one of my very favorite mediums to work in. It is inexpensive, fun, unbelievably versatile, and can be worked with numerous expedient processes. Clay lends itself fabulously to making functional pieces that you can enjoy using every day.
Working in ceramic was a major vehicle for me to expand my aesthetic boundaries, and appreciation for styles outside of my experience as a designer and painter. Sculpture, in general, and pottery, inparticular, is about touch-how it feels in the hand and against your lips as you drink or eat from it. Also, and possibly more than any other craft, pottery lends itself to the beautiful, simple solution. Uncomplicated, elegant shapes that reflect the makers process. Working in ceramics yields pieces of affordable, usable art that that are just what they need to be- pleasurable to handle and use.
the following are a few examples of the types of functional pieces that I am currently doing.
“Tavern” mugs-feminine, rustic styled mugs, simply glazed, with a generous belly to hold plenty of coffee or tea. At home this is the style that I’ll reach for 9 times out of 10.
A small pitcher, or creamer, done in this same “tavern” style-
A new mug style that I’m just developing- a more elegant, hour glass shaped style. I’m particularly happy with how cleanly the handle flows in and out of the form-
chatter worked whisky tumblers. Chatter working is a texturing method using a flexible steel tool that one places against the piece as it turns on the wheel. The steel “skips” over the surface leaving a pattern of gouges, or “chatter”, on the surface. As glaze, which is actually a mixture of clay and glass, melts in the kiln and flows over the surface, it “breaks” over the highs and lows in the texture, leaving a very interesting surface-
small drinking tumblers, glazed over a wheel grooved surface. The small stamp on all of these pieces is my “chop” (symbol that is the potters signature). It is done by pressing a clay stamp that I made into a little wad of clay set on the leather hard surface of the “green” (still wet) piece.It’s stylized monkey in a house, “Monkeyhaus Pottery”-
Medium sized drinking tumblers-
“fountain” cups. old style soda fountain ice cream goblets-
“hooch” bottles. Loop-lugged small whiskey bottles-
These show variation in the mouth. One utilizes an old “apothecary” style pouring spout on the stopper rim-
rustic “hooch” bottles. The tops are left intentionally unrefined, and irregular, to mimic a more ancient style-
A couple with a more unusual matt glazing, and a couple with chatter-work ornament-
This piece shows the versatility of clay as a medium. “Thrown and altered” refers to the process of using the wheel to create the symmetrical base shape, and then deforming it with your fingers when it is stopped. This vase form plays off of some Arts and Crafts pieces from the early 1900’s-
More sculptural, and highly ornamented pieces. These are examples of a couple of Greek or Roman styled “urns” that I decorated by applying a contrasting slip (liquid clay) to the pot’s surface and then free-hand carving-
A little “tea pot” spouted vessel. I use this one at the stove for holding and pouring olive oil-
These are but a tiny fraction of the pieces that I have produced. I’ll post more later.