Sunday, January 22, 2012

land of lost pottery

January is a great time to go through all the stuff you accumulated throughout the year and start throwing it out.  At home, I've been going through closets, my office, the kitchen pantry.  Throwing stuff out, organizing stuff, and giving stuff away.   The studio is also getting attention.  My studio gets cleaned regularly, I can't stand a messy and dusty studio, all it does is give me an excuse to clean instead of work.  The floors get mopped, shelves cleared, things put in order.  But I do have one blind spot, and that's hanging on to random bits of work that I went through the trouble of making and bisquing, and then lose interest in and never got around to glazing.

I think this is a problem that is endemic to many potters.  When I worked for Sandi Dihl, there were pieces of bisqueware that were hanging around when I started working for her, and were still there when I left a few years later.  When I would visit her over the years, the stuff was still there.  In the same place.  It's a lot easier to toss greenware into a bucket of water when it's not working out.  But once you bisque a piece it seems more permanent, therefore harder to let go.

I have to brace myself when it's time to throw out stuff that's collecting dust and taking up room.  I feel so sad when I throw my work away, but after a couple of minutes I get over it and start throwing away anything that's been sitting around for more than a month.  It gets wild, there in the studio.  Nikki was helping me last week while we did some re-arranging and throwing away of the stuff, and she stopped me  from throwing away a few things she thought were worth glazing.

So we put some pieces back on the shelf, and started glazing some right away.  These are images of a few things.  I have to say they are all nice pieces, I'm glad they got glazed up.  I'll be putting them up for sale gradually over the next few weeks in a series of "lost pottery" postings on Etsy, and if you're interested in purchasing you can keep up with new listings on the Facebook page.


  1. Anonymous9:01 AM

    All of these pieces are wonderful! I especially like the leaf bowl!

  2. great thoughts about tidying- it can be a great moment of release or rediscovery and both have meaning. i have a nice uneven piece of concrete outside my studio in the kiln area where i can throw crappy or cracked bisque and watch it shatter, i get a little piece of my soul back when i delete work that isn't good enough for me, hh

  3. I don't mind throwing away bisqueware that I'm not happy with - I think it's a vital part of the process - experimenting, discarding, learning, improving, succeeding. Your work is beautiful.

  4. I think the key words there were 'we started glazing some right away'. If you'd have just put them back on the shelf they may have stayed another year.

    I love throwing all that stuff out. I've been know to do a huge clean out where I filled up the front end loader on the tractor!

    I need to tackle all those little cups of test glazes.

  5. The trash can is our friend.

  6. You have some nice pieces there....the leaf deserves replication.

    I've been using some old bowls, plates etc as glaze and design tests. If I like the way they fire, I'll keep them for flowers, animal dishes, you name it. The failures get the BIG HAMMER treatment and become driveway of the advantages of working with terra cotta.