Fresh load of bisque work

Every time I unload my bisque firings, I am struck by the gradual changes in my work despite a relatively specific formal treatment with the wood rib. This time around I think I grew closer to my goal of making bigger pots, with thinner walls, and more surface modifications or decoration. I have been thinking about totally abandoning the stirrup fluting in my pots, but I still feel there is more ground to cover along this vein of work. So most likely I will develop a totally different formal style concurrently. I think I’d like to address women’s body forms as represented by different cultural traditional silhouettes (western European, Japanese, tribal, etc), while pursuing a relationship between what I do (equestrienne, artist), what I am (woman, object designer, fashionista), and who I am (that intangible feature) in the finished pots. Anyway, here’s some photos of the naked pots, ready to start getting carted off to the glaze lab in batches.

Jeff Oestreich slide lecture @ The Craft Guild

Whenever TCG of Dallas hosts a workshop, they have a free public lecture one evening. This time around Jeff Oestreich of Minnesota discussed his family ties, aesthetic history, and showed us the progression of his work in relation to milestones in his career as a potter. It is worth mentioning that this inventive artist’s work has been greatly informed by his apprenticeship at Leach Pottery, Art Deco architecture, the style of his teachers and favored potters (Leach, Hamada, etc), and the beauty in ancient everyday pots. He keeps house with one remaining Scottish Fold kitty, and loves to host dinner parties where Mr. Oestreich can, as he stated, chew and chat with friends in his kitchen. His biggest splurges are coveted ancient pots, which he seeks out with determination.

“That’s what credit cards are for,” he joked. His beloved late parents also instilled a deep love of travel, and in their own travels managed to not only exhaust any potential inheritance (good on ’em, of course) but keep Jeff’s friendships alive in the wide world. His reverence for the history of pots leads him to persevere in creating work that expresses the subtle nuances of passion and pays homage to the material, incorporating curve and tension, raw clay versus glaze, the many hues of ware fired in atmospheric kilns, and the overall visual gravity necessary to achieve successful, complete pots. Because after all, there ought to be beauty and intimacy with oneself in everyday life.

Try to stop by The Craft Guild today or Monday to see some of Jeff’s work in person, or check out his latest online gallery show at Akar.

Business as usual in the studio

I have once again filled my big Skutt electric to the gills. Apparently my volume management skills are still on par, as I only made three pieces too many. Those orphans will just get priority next time.

There’s a lot of traditional forms for me, including bowls, cups, mugs, cream/sugar sets, pitchers, and sauce boats. New stuff like colanders, bowls with mug handles, updated pitcher forms, lots of sprig molds, inlaid slip, and slip trailing, a number of inlaid slip glaze test cups, and progressively larger item dimensions are looking pretty promising. I’ve also been gradually whittling down the overall weight with thinner walls, trying not to compromise durability.

Going to see the Jeff Oestreich lecture at the Craft Guild of Dallas tonight. I’m really excited to see the slides and hear what Mr. Oestreich has to say. He’s definitely one of the heavyweights in the U.S. pottery community. Click on the photo of Jeff Oestreich’s teabowl below to go to his website.

Pretty classic example of what his work is all about

 

Also, I’ve posted a bunch of fresh pots in my Etsy shop, if you’re interested. Be sure to check back for a review of the lecture. Thanks for the atencion!