Thursday, 28 February 2013

potty for pots!

Mud, glorious mud! I’ve been rediscovering the pleasure of working with clay and successfully throwing my first ever pots in the process. Why? How? It happened like this... I was teaching on the 3D Design course at Camberwell College, speaking to Grace, a final year student who has been working on a series of pots with wooden handles pierced through them and secured with leather and bark lashings. Lovely work! I told her I’d never been able to successfully throw anything on a potter’s wheel.  My last failed attempts were some 20 years ago at least, after which I gave up. After our chat I found myself in the ceramics workshop and decided, rather suddenly but with determination, to leave my (hurt) pride behind and have fresh go at the wheel. These are the results, and I now officially have the bug for mud!

I lost the base of my third throw after badly damaging it when sliding it off the wheel - a tricky manoeuvre, especially when you like throwing ‘wet’ like I do. Rather than recycling the clay, I removed the base completely and squashed the uneven rim to form an oval, then dipped it in slip and transparent glaze.

This did prompt a few comments in the ceramics room. What use is a pot without a base? Well, my feeling is if it’s good enough to look at, that is purpose enough for me! Besides, with a base each, how would these three fit so snuggly together? Apart from loving wrestling with mud, all this has reminded me of an old passion of mine, the collection of pots, bottles and vases painted by Giorgio Morandi. So, these first ever pots of mine are my own private homage to him, with thanks to Grace as well of course.

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