Alisa og Claus Clausen on sun 20 may 01
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 =
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
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,