Wednesday, June 20, 2012


"A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry

I recently saw a very old pot and was inspired to try my own spin on the idea. I spent a bit of time sketching up surfaces, testing the necessary glaze and materials and then set about throwing some cylinder vases to test on. The first step went fine, but as it came time to add the decoration, the whole idea, surface and concept, just fell short. I know that it can take hundreds (thousands) of tries to get an idea worked out, but as I sallied forth, the concept became more and more diluted and less interesting. Through countless tests, experiments and trials and tribulation, I have figured out what I can do and those great amount of things that I can not. The conclusion, as vague as this may be, is that I just do not have the aptitude to proceed further. Over 20 plus years of potting, I have learned my strengths as well as my weaknesses and at the end of the day, sifting through the myriad of  possibilities keeps things interesting and is part of the continuing evolution of being an inquisitive potter.

In keep with the inquisitive and determined theme, illustrated is a picture of a greenware teabowl that I have just hand cut the foot. I have been working to create a foot that accentuates the bowl form more than does a normally tooled foot. The foot shown has been one approach that works well on both the heavily paddled/distorted bowls as well as the ones that are asymmetrical and pushed oval. Understanding limitations is one thing, but practice does make perfect, lots and lots of practice.

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