Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pottery Mugs and Wabi Sabi

Bruce Gholson, Large Mug, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

Our recent pottery series, that we made and finished in our studio just before the Mint's PMI has us really excited.  We are  contemplating the results, looking, and thinking about what is possible next. We are intrigued by the effects we are getting by layering glazes and slips onto red clay. Where will we be able to take some of what Bruce has discovered, and some of what Samantha has brought back from our glaze archive? This is a good question, and one that we converse about daily.

Our pottery cycle frequently hits a crescendo, and thankfully we come back down to working more sanely in arpeggios.  Working in the studio making pottery from day to day is a wonderful experience, then a deadline comes along.  Boom the adrenaline pops in and final decisions need to be made. This is one of the balancing acts a full-time potter needs to make, how many deadlines to put on the calendar and how close to have them together to stay sane and healthy.

Bruce made these mugs out of red clay and has played around with layering glazes along with slips.  A few years ago at the North Carolina Potters Conference, Jack Troy mentioned a book called Wabi Sabi. We purchased the book after the conference and have recently bought another book about Wabi Sabi Painting. Wabi Sabi defined (from Wiki) - Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".  Our interpretation from this is how to work with the materials in a more casual and playful way and respond to the results as they develop.

Which actually reminds me of another book series by Umberto Eco. Two of them that we have is on the "History of Beauty"and another called "On Ugliness". So much to read out there, how lucky are we!  Especially to have the internet to build our library.  We seem to get to a bookstore, at most, every two months living out here in the countryside, so we frequently buy books online.  We love books!

Bruce Gholson, Large Mug, side 2,  Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

Bruce made these two, of the many mugs that we took to the Potters Market Invitational in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. Both mugs sold to the same person that said she couldn't choose between them so she decided to buy both.  It is great that they get to stay together, and that she appreciated the experimental fun they exemplified.

Bruce Gholson, Large Mug, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

This is the same mug.  We love the 3 dimensionality of pottery for its potential of slip and glaze painting that can be evolving as it wraps around the form.  Exploring the potential of the materials and moving and changing them across the surface of the piece. 
Bruce Gholson, Large Mug, side2, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

This is my image of the morning, September 21, "Into the Earth", for day 252 of my 365 day project.  This is the first photo that I have actually taken something and moved it from where I found it. I first saw this beautiful autumn leaf in the grass and clover.  I moved it a few feet away onto the dirt and liked the contrast of the color to the brown and grey hues. To see more of my images from my 365 day project visit our Bulldog Pottery Flickr page.

"Into the Earth" Image by Samantha Henneke and title by Bruce Gholson, Seagrove, NC


Linda Starr said...

Love all the overlapping hues and colors of Ben's mugs.

Michael Mahan said...

If you didn't know otherwise, you might think that last picture of the leaf was the side of one of your lovely mugs. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to come across your post about pottery mugs. these all are just amazing. Great work. Thanks for sharing.

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