The studio was work-ready as far back as August of last year, but for reasons I didn’t understand, I couldn’t get myself on the wheel. Initially, I blamed it on the space’s lack of windows, beyond the new mini-blind French doors. Eventually, I realized it was all about not wanting to christen the new studio with old forms.
Looking for inspiration, I spent a few weeks perusing some old books, including several of the the 500 pots series, and Kevin Hluch’s The Art of Contemporary Ameircan Pottery, which I still think is the best multi-form, well-illustrated pottery book around. But, no spark.
Then, somewhat magically, at Thanksgiving dinner at a good friend’s house, I spotted a very old pot of mine that I had gifted him some two decades earlier. It represented a lazy, almost comical attempt on my part to reproduce a faceted jar that I had seen demoed in a workshop, in the very early 2000s. Ding!!!!! I was on my wheel the next day, with clay on the wheel and a modified wire cheese slicer in hand. After a ton of failed attempts, some keepers finally emerged.
I’m still struggling with the lids for these jars, which I want to echo the rhythms of the bodies, and I still haven’t solved how to get excess clay out of the bases of similarly faceted mugs. But, those are fun challenges that didn’t prevent me from having a satisfying number of both faceted jars and mugs in a bisque fire last week, the first in my Gainesville studio, and the first anywhere in 3 years.
These pots, and more, are destined for a couple of glaze fires in the Dinkelmeyer family gas kiln in Alexandria, VA this summer.
All told, it’s satisfying having this facet of my Gainesville life now percolating nicely.