Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plates, plates and more plates!

Today was a good day in the studio! It was one of these days where I could just tell I was "on". I was working on plates a for a large order I have that until today was a source of discouragement until today. I am back on track with getting the order done. Everything but 12 bowls are thrown (I can do that next week). Until then, I can focus on my favorite part of the process which is decorating.

I suppose it's my favorite part of my work because I feel like that area of my work is where I am growing most right now. Strangely enough, it is also the part of my work I am the most displeased with. No, that's not quite the right's the part of my work that I see the most weakness in. Floral designs. I have always wanted to cover my pottery with floral designs. I remember the first time I tried this, I was going to Parkland College studying under Chris Berti. I remember, I found a photo in my 500 Cups book that I admired the decoration on. It was a little slip covered piece with some sort of a floral sgraffito design. I tried something similar on a little bowl I made and it was okay. My teacher Chris, who is never one to beat around the bush, took one look at it and told me that my marks were too small. They would get covered with the glaze and that if I really wanted to do a design like that I needed to vary the width of my marks to make them more interesting.

I didn't decorate another pot with florals until I was a Jr in college but when I tried again, those words from Chris stuck with me. Even now, when I look at my current work and try to figure out what it is that bothers me about my sgraffito, its Chris' voice that comes through saying those same words. I know that what it still not "right" about my current work is more than just that, more than line quality or drawing ability. But I don't know what it is or better yet, I don't know how to fix it or even how to explain what I don't like about it.

There my rant for the day. Maybe it was inspired by Don Pilchner's rant but even so I'm not one of those great potters either. I do however think that I can learn a lot about my own work by writing about it like this (which I used to do but somehow got outta the habit). I suppose because like many bloggers, I don't feel like anyone would be interested in reading about me going on about my own work. However, after reading that article (and all it's comments), I felt like sharing my own little story.

Here's an interesting thought: I don't think I have ever been totally happy with any pot I have made. By the time they are finished, there's always something I think I should have done better. Maybe that's what keeps me going back to the wheel or in most my pots, to the drawing board in search of the answer to the problem in my design that Chris pointed out a few years ago.