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lively teapots

updated tue 26 sep 00


Karen Sullivan on mon 25 sep 00

To make my pots dance, I do the following:
I do not throw on bats, I throw directly on the wheelhead.
So I have a cylinder or form thrown, finished, and before I cut it off
with a wire, I grab the cylinder and pull it towards me specifically while
the clay is still attached, THEN I take the wire and cut it off and lift the
piece to a board. Instant gesture.
I try to work quickly, and have focused on gesture, the vocabulary that clay
has when it has not been overworked, which is loose, gutsy, and dances.
I figure that with time, I have refined the process so things look more put
together and finished.
A friend said that what she learned from Voulkous was how to leave the clay
alone and let it speak by using a light touch. I move the clay, rip the
clay and LOOK. Then decide where it is going to lead me.
I throw the pieces of the teapot out of a hump and assemble immediately.
That allows the pieces to adhere without cracking apart, i.e. the spout
attached to the body, and the movement of my hand to attach leaves a trail.
Byron Temple talks about the "act of making", so one sees evidence of the
hand in the process of assembling and in glazing.
When hard pressed and the clay is too soft, I try to gain the patience to
let a light skin develop, and then go in and start working on it.