Saturday, January 15, 2011

Revisiting the "Influential Potters" Series

I posted this very early last year. The reason I'm reposting it is because I just stumbled upon the issue of Ceramics Monthly that featured the subject on the cover. It was the January 2000 issue, and I highly recommend buying yourself that back issue. The cover story is excellent and the few pictures I tagged onto the end of this post are only a fraction of what's in the article. -JB

I didn't have any takers on the guessing game I posed a couple of days ago. I asked anyone who wished to, to guess who the potter is who created the work in this picture...

I might just as easily (and to fun effect) asked, "What's different/special about the three pots in the picture?" I did pose that question to one group of friends. Perhaps the most interesting response -- and the response that gets most to the point of why I find Jane to be such an influence on my pottery -- was from my friend, Frazer who guessed, "...they all have very pleasing shapes and proportions that look exactly 'right'."


I live with nearly forty of Jane's pieces around my house. I have them on shelves in my kitchen. I have them on shelves in my dining room. I even have them on a shelf in one of my bedrooms. And I pick them up from time to time just to examine them, wonder, and learn.

Yup. Live with Jane's pottery and learn about pleasing shapes and proportions that look exactly 'right'.

And here's why the lessons on shape and proportion carry such impact...

That's right. My friend, Jane, makes the finest stoneware and redware miniatures in the country.

It's almost shocking to be able to pick up one of Jane's pieces and have it elicit exactly the same feelings, the same sense of proportion as one might get from the full-sized version.

I've heard it said that a good way to judge the success of a miniature is to photograph it and see if thus removed from its surrounding context, it is impossible to judge the size of the piece. I think I just illustrated that Jane's pieces do, indeed, pass that test.

Jane has no internet presence, but I was able to find at least two sources if you are interesting in investigating her work further.


  1. You're absolutely right about that top image, conveying the impression of three well-made and perfectly proportioned pots. (And, of course, that's what they are) I'm thinking ... John Leach ... no, not quite ... ummm ... OK, then I more or less gave up and went on the rest of the post. Only to find the true size of those pots. Remarkable. Nice post.

  2. Dam*- I remember admiring her work years ago.
    Thanks for bringing her back in focus.
    And about that sofa and love seat----naw!