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an impression from vince's book and 180 degree turnaround for the

updated tue 22 may 01


Alisa og Claus Clausen on sun 20 may 01


Dear Clayart,
Working over many years gives one many small bricks to stack together. =
They sometimes build up well on top of each other, or sometimes a few =
get kicked out from the bottom. Strong walls somedays, weak masonary =
other days. All in all, a constant challange to build something you can =
comfortably live in.

Up until last week, I was throwing pots I thought were thrown all right =
with a view to skill. But there was not even one that gave me a feeling =
of a well accomplished pot, with many of the small bricks in place, =
built to give a lasting feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

I was looking through my lastest Ceramics Monthly. The last page or so =
showed an advertisement for Vince's new book. There are two impressions =
of the cover photo, a pot cut in half, being altered with a rock =
supporting the inside.
This single inmpression was like super glue for all for my small bricks =
that were lying not exactly where I wanted them, even after manyu years =
of collecting.

Next day in the studio, I got into my new orange, Hungarian clay mass =
that throws really well, with a sandy feel that I like, not rough grogg. =
I took to throwing the upside down forms I learned from Janet Mansfield =
last summer. Instead of throwing multiple parts for those pots as I had =
been doing, I threw 4 bases only. That would mean 4 pots started out by =
large rings on the bats, and thrown upwards to a closed cone. I ribbed =
the top of the closed cones (which will be later inverted to become the =
pots' feet) to make a distinct foot ring.

After a day I wrapped the bottom of the pots (which will become the =
top), still on the bats, in light plastic. The upside down feet now =
have a chance to stiffen, while the body of the pots remain soft for =
future altering. When the feet were stiff enough to hold up the pot, I =
cut the pots off and inverted them.

With a smooth beach rock inside the pot, and a rough, large cyrstal one =
the outside, I pounded the walls as I rotated the pots. By changing =
direction of the crystal, I could make basket like patterns. I could =
feel something important for me was happening here. I was using skill, =
learning techniques, materials' potentials, as well as my own aesthetic =
taste and some potential I have had lingering around, to make some pots =
that I am happy to say I made.

They were bisqued and glazed with Stephanie's Desert Slip (colored) and =
some of Chris Clarke's glazes. Dipped, painted and brushed and washed =
off, so the glaze reamins in the deeper part of the textures, high =
margin of unglazed feet. I am pleased with so many aspects of these =
pots. The glazes cling like part of the clay, not like my slip =
decoration that seem to float freely and separately on the surface, =
irrevelant to the pot. These glazes are skins on the clay. Flat and =
close, moving but hard. I like it.

Thanks would be an understatement to all the people whose sharing of =
what they do, have helped me to achieve what I can do. What a great, =
great feeling to want to own up to the pots I made. These pots are a =
huge departure for me in some ways, but of course in many others ways =
are simply a new arrangement of my bricks with a few new ones from Vince =
in the walls. I am feeling happy about these pots. Hard to explain =
without sounding like a raving egoist. More like a gate opening to work =
that is exciting for me. The best comment I got about these pots, as I =
told Stephanie, was "are these really cone 6 electric?"=20

Best regards,
Alisa in Denmark
Sore arms from a day at school rebuilding the playarea that last year's =
winter storm blew away. All the parents and all the kids working, like =
a barn raising. Great satisfaction to see many those destroyed trees =
become useful again in the school yard.

Marta M. Gloviczki on mon 21 may 01


i like the way how you describe learning from clayart. i think, i should
include clayart in the listing of my education in clay...
funny enough, i just tried couple of weeks ago the same method ,
imitating the picture on Vince`s book cover. and i loved it too.
you wrote about your new orange, hungarian clay mass with sandy feel,
not rough grogg---, i would like to know where did you get it? i`d like to
try that clay, if it is possible (maybe it will feel like home?)
c ould you please let me know?

thanks in advance,
in minnesota