Thursday, March 15, 2012
Animals and sharing together
Here's my cat in a tiara, and a little woman, a wolf/dog, and a smaller cat. Having them in same proportions wasn't my aim. They are waiting for glaze...and wherever I feel like sticking them.
Thanks to Gary Rith, a fellow potter blogger, http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/ who got me interested in making animals. Though I admit freely that he's had a lot more practice, he seems to go on the wild side a bit more than I'm interested in doing. He has a thing for Godzilla, as well as sharks, and they are used decoratively on his pots in humorous ways as they eat people and other things. I think he has a corner on that market.
Speaking of corners on markets, I stopped following another potter's blog who got irate that other potters were making sculptural houses similar to hers. Did I say irate? Simply over the top. She was out of line to think all clay houses should be her territory, and her anger was simply childish. Many classes focus upon building houses as a way to learn about slab construction. I won't be reading her blog any more.
I noticed someone else didn't want to share a glaze recipe with me, which is ok, because it may be an area that is especially important to him. I can respect the work that goes into many glaze recipes, but I also think many of them are very close to others. The ones I use are all apparently "public domain" though I don't know if that's a term used to describe them.
We have about 11 tubs of glazes available at the Black Mountain clay studio. Then I've invested in a lot of Mayco's Stroke and Coat glazes to get specific colors whenever I want a "painterly" quality. So I've definitely got quite a selection to choose from, as well as a bunch of underglazes and mason stains, and just plain basic oxides to make into stains or slips. The Ceramics Monthly glazes are often cone 6, which is what I'm most interested in, and I've done a little experimenting with them.
I am basically saying that sharing between potters seems the way I like to live. That's why I share on blogs, and read other people's too. Our unique styles still seem to come through. Of course we may be competitive, especially if we're in the same building selling our stuff. But since I'm not out there selling in any buildings yet, (excep etsy) I guess I can only report on the art shows I've attended over the last 30 some years.
Winter Park Art Festivals have always had lots of pots, and St. Augustine, and Tampa, and Tallahassee, and Orlando, and Ocala, and Jacksonville, FL, and Knoxville, TN, and Black Mountain and Dillsboro, NC. I was trudging through all these displays of people's excellent work and sometimes buying. I never heard anyone say that theirs was better than anyone else's or someone was copying another.
The sense of everyone celebrating together was one of the attractive things about outdoor art festivals. Here in the Asheville area there are lots of potters in the neighborhood, and I saw the Southern Highlands Guild show this year. Incredible diversity! Great spirit of hopefulness in the face of economic recession...and sharing between artist and craftspeople. I'm very pleased to immerse myself in that spirit. If that isn't the way you want to relate to other artists and craftspeople, I just don't want to be around you.