Wednesday 4 June 2008

Pesky pheasant

Well today's been a home day, preparing for tomorrow, washing up and sleeping. I had to pop up to the workshop this evening to collect some more pots and to slip some big jars that I made earlier in the week.

The jars in the photo were decorated yesterday. The deco will mellow in the glaze firing so won't look quite so brash. They're made from 10lbs of clay and stand about 360mm with the lid on. Because of the coarse nature of my clay, it's difficult to throw pots that are thin, these feel pretty good, the clay was just the right consistency when I made them - it makes such a difference.

Ron and Matt have been working on some animal moneyboxes based on the old country pottery ones. Here's my version, inspired by a huge cock pheasant in the field outside my workshop the other day.

Off to Bovey Tracey to the Contemporary Craft Fair in the morning, back tomorrow night after the private view. Bye


klineola said...

I like the brashness of the deco. Bold, maybe.
I think part of my problems of late with my clay is that I may be asking too much of it as far as thin-ness. The old pots had nice weight but weren't necessarily thin. I think the weight was well balanced. Good Luck with your show!

Ron said...

I have it in my head that all pots should have the "Mark Hewitt light as a feather" standard. It's a terrible thing, I handled too many of his pots in my early pottery days and it's spoiled me. I certainly can't make them like that. (who can?)

I often fail to even pick up pots and just assume they are thin and light. Balance is most important, I'd like to pick up some of your pots Doug, and your's too Michael. I remember someone once saying they got to hold a big Hamada bowl and how you could have rolled it down a hill with no damage. Wonder what Hamada's jars felt like?

brandon phillips said...

i've held a hamada vase and several leach pots at a gallery when i was england. the gallery owner had a soft spot for pottery students and would take them to the back to hold the "famous" pots. the hamada was quite stout but evenly so. leach's bowls were well balanced, some thicker some thinner, but his vases and the one pitcher(beautiful looking pots) i held were balanced like beginners pots, thick and heavy bottoms. it was weird, though many people that have worked with him will tell you that he was an awful thrower. sometimes when i think the weight of a pot is a little off i just think about those awful leach pots selling for thousands of dollars.

klineola said...

At a show last Fall in Charlotte, a woman came into my booth and immediately picked up one of my mugs, and said, "Heavy", and walked out without even looking up at me. It slayed me. I work hard at getting my pots to a good weight, not to generous of clay.
I shouldn't get light mixed up with well balanced, the latter is probably more difficult, technically.

Paul Jessop said...

it happens to us all, the other week when my best firing yet came out of the kiln, I took a jug up the pub to show Joe Leach, one of John Leach's sons. he realy liked it weight balance feel all that sort of stuff. I then passed it to a guy who worked for Richard Dennis for years, he's a dealer in Doulton. He just said "to Heavy" and put it down without another glance. It hurts at the time, but then I think what does he know about country pottery. Bugger ALL !!

Brad Lail said...

I loved reading everyones comments. I am certainly a victim of getting light mixed up with well balenced. The pressure to be light in forceful here in NC. Well balenced should be more admired than it is.

doug Fitch said...

Indeed, I think it's quite an earthenware thing too. As Paul and Michael rightly say, country pottery depended upon being well balanced rather than thin. I've so much aggregate in my clay, if I go too thin it starts to split, that's an effect I like to manipulate, pushing the clay to its extreme. A lot of the old country pots impart these qualities. Got to go to Bovey, late as ever!

Ron said...

It's good to read all these comments about weight, balance etc. Brad is right on that here in NC people expect things to be light as air. I have sort of educated my customers with my pots that I hope are well made but in a hearty way. Ruggles and Rankin pots were more of an education to me on balance and I still try to make pitchers as good as they do.

Hey Micheal, I once had a lady told me one of my mugs was 'burgler proof" meaning she could hit the burgler in the head with it I think.