Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to Basics

Way back when...I first fell for clay it was the late 70's and the attitude that I learned (for lack of non pun word) was "Earthy". My clay is returning to that attitude I hope. I have played around with form and finish for a looooong time it feels like and I am turning around at the end of the lane and heading home. It feels good and right.

I have a friend who calls himself Stan the Drunk, an old sober hippie that had a loft in Berkely in the 60's and 70's. He lived in his loft and made his living selling his pots. Christmas time was when he made the money he lived off of the rest of the year. So I asked him to help me get back on track and if he would "mentor" me for a while and he said he would.

I checked out Pioneer Pottery from the library and read it like a text, uh, I did have to skip the part about soil analysis and making my own clay body as well as finding the proper earth elements to make glazes. I do need to support my local clay shop, don't ya think? Building the kiln was interesting since I secretly would love to build an anagama in my back yard....I do have a hill behind me!

I have made some slips to decorate my pots, one red and one white. Next a cream color I think. Not only will slips bring me back to honest simplicity (I hope) but I will also work on strong, simple shapes with strong, honest decorations. That's a lot of strong and honest, huh? With some simple thrown in for good measure.

Pioneer Pottery was written by Michael Cardew after spending 20 years making pots in Britain and I can't remember how many years (30?) making more pots in Africa. Of course the first years had to have been spent finding the clay and all of that. I included the hyperlink but haven't yet read it....there it is for us though! The bowl at the top is his.

yak, yak, yak, it feels so good to talk the honest clay talk I just can't stop.

I am soon off to Vegas where I plan to drop in to check out Pottery West and decide whether or not to hook up my kiln there - bring $$ if I do!!!! I tried to find Pottery West once before but failed to find it...I'll have to get out of my car this time I guess!

1 comment:

Life Looms Large said...

I'll be interested to see how your latest thinking will be reflected in your pottery.

Pottery West looks fantastic!