For the last few days I've been trying to clean my shop.
No, really. I mean it. I'm trying to clea...
I said, STOP LAUGHING!
...anyway (or, as a good Hoosier would say, "...anyways")...
I've started in with clearing off shelves and cabinets. I have an embarrassment of riches where warecarts are concerned. I have 12 steel framed ware carts that can hold 18 1'X3' plywood shelves.
10 of those 12 carts are full of....of....stuff. Half-done ideas. Mold-making ideas. Tools. Giffin Grips. Wax resist bottles. Brushes. Guitar picks (how'd those get in there?). Magazines and...
Ever try to clean up a shop with books and magazines that need to be put away? Well, if you're like me, you can't simply pick up a book without also leafing through it.
And so it was that I stumbled upon the Functional Pottery, Robin Hopper book yesterday. And I leafed through it for probably the first time since I got the copy in 2000, when it came out.
If you'd asked me about the changes I've made in my pottery over the last ten years, I could probably try to list things -- new ideas -- as I remember them happening. But leafing through this older book shocked even me at the changes I've made, and the different way I look at a pot in just a decade's span.
Quite possibly, nothing has changed for me as drastically as this pitcher. Oh, I still make "the same" pitcher. Functionally I'm still making a 2-quart green pitcher with a leaf impression on the sides. But, my how the shape has changed.
I started to make more gourds. In one such manifestation of the gourd shape, I started making a gourd pitcher. I immediately noticed: 1. How much more naturally and easily the gourd-shaped pitcher lifted by the handle (and from the table) with the center of gravity lowered in the now more bulbous belly. 2. How much more easily and gracefully the liquid poured from such a shape, when the gradually narrowing neck channeled the fluid toward the narrowing spout.
Noticing the improved ergonomics achieved by simply lowering the center of gravity, I changed all my pitchers to that general shape.
I also changed the chemistry of that glaze. I changed the color and I changed the surface. I wanted a more irregular surface with rivulets of glaze adding interest. At the same time, I maintained that break-to-white line that highlighted the textures with which I decorate.Thanks for indulging my walk down memory lane.