Friday, April 4, 2014


I am not sure why, but for me, the incised decoration and Oribe seem to go hand in hand. The way the glaze first breaks to a much lighter color only to fill that incised channel with a dark river of Oribe makes the technique very appealing. Though the idea of the incised line goes way back in pottery history, it is the work of Kohyama Yasuhisa, Koie Ryoji, Charles Counts and Aaron Bohrod that have been of the greatest inspiration and influence in what I do with the cut line. The technique is both primal and expressive, literal and obtuse and allows a potter direct access to the clay, cutting in to the surface and moving material as you go along. The other appeal is that spontaneity goes hand in hand with the directness of the technique, like ink on a fresh piece of paper, there is no going back, the line cut is the line that one lives with and there is a fair share of cast always and wasters along the route. Using a sharpened piece of bamboo as a tool, it takes practice to get gentle curves and small detail, but like all things worth the effort, it is only the first 10,000 hours that serve to get you where you are going.
Illustrated is a thrown stoneware bottle, tokkuri with an decoration loosely based on the orbit in some far off incised interstellar intersection of stars. In a way this decoration is an offshoot of my "landscapeman" design but it owes as much to the blackboards of science fiction scientists in old B movies as anything else. The Oribe glaze works well over the incised decoration and though not quite apparent in the photo, the surface has a slight iridescence to it. I have only one question, how is it possible that no one in the US is mining ceramic grade lepidolite?

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