Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I have been using Amaco Velvet underglaze on stamps and carving and I knew that it worked under the gloss green and blue glazes. I decided I would test it on some of the other glazes. The one I really wasn't sure about was shino (first on left) but it looks fine. Second from the left is my wheat glaze that started giving me trouble with pin holing after I mixed a new batch nearly three years ago. We have tweaked our reduction schedule so I decided to test it again. It looks good so the next test will be a little bigger... a sponge holder.
Speaking of sponge holders, as you know I was resistant to making them. But I did make them and they sell quickly. Very quickly.
Just when I was starting to get over the "I can't believe I am making sponge holders" thingy, I read Carter Gillies blog post about the prejudice of this item, along with others... soap dishes, soap dispensers, oil lamps, etc... you can read that post here. It's a very interesting read on "item" making with equally interesting comments.
Later in the day I watched the short documentary "A Potters Meal", about Utah potter Joe Bennion, whose work I so love. In the film Joe talks about only making the things you love or else you will lose the excitement and making pots becomes a chore.
I read and watched all of this while spending a quiet day minding the Co-op shop of which Jeff and I are members. I definitely had too much time to ponder all of these thoughts. By the time I got home I was feeling pretty bad about those sponge holders. I shared my feelings with Jeff and as usual he made me feel better... this is what his response was, I am paraphrasing here:
Making sponge holders (or insert soap dishes, oil lamps, yarn bowls, whatever "item" you make) brings in the money that allows us to make a living in pottery. It doesn't diminish our art, it allows us to live a creative life.
Jeff is right. There are times when all that gets made are orders and items that sell well at shows. In between we set aside time to create new work. We both love to have our hands in CLAY, isn't that's what it's all about?