Friday, September 11, 2009

A thoughtful potter

A large mound of clay in the shape of a large box sits on one side of our wedging surface. This is the reclaim clay, shoveled out of the bucket and slopped onto the table top to set up. The air in Spain is very arid, a perfect bonus for a potter. The breezes and the sun streaming into the studio give the reclaim and thrown pots a quick turn over time. Seth's usual practice is to throw in the morning, leave the pots out, eat la comidar (lunch), and come back to pots ready to trim. Remember from previous posts that a pot has to be at the "leather hard" stage to trim the bottoms. Trimming gives the pot a "foot" on the bottom, a nice finished, grip-able foot.

Why should a potter make a foot that can be grabbed? Why should a potter think about the bottom of a pot? Why does a customer lean toward one pot and not another? Why do you gravitate towards that certain bowl or mug in your cupboard? A good artist, a good potter, knows the answer to all of these questions. The success of a pot relies on the consciousness of the artist even if the reasons for success are inexplicable to the user/admirer. Seth mentions the"washer and dryer" a lot as we are making pots. He says that a good potter must think of a person holding the pot, using the pot, and washing the pot. Is it easy to hold? Is it comfortable? Is it convenient to wash? These are wonderful things to imagine as thought goes into every aspect of every pot, from the smallest bowl to the largest vase.


  1. I love the most recent photo. Pots lined up ready to trim. Very satisfying. I was just thinking about all of the details that go into a good foot as I was trimming. Doing sets for a show. A good pot has many details that go unnoticed by some.The angle of the bevel of the rim and the foot. No bevel and the pot looks like it is stuck to the table top. Keep up the good work. Amazing.
    Love, Mom

  2. Just wanted you to know that I feed Hudson his baby food out of a small dish that we bought from one of your shows. I have several small bowls that I could use, but continuously choose the blue and cream colored bowl. As I wash it for the next use I think about how nice it feels in my hands, how perfect the size is and the way it was shaped and carved underneath. I don't think I would have thought it over had I not read your blogs earlier on. Keep on learning and growing and posting! :)

  3. True, true, mom, and I´m happy to say all of this was instilled in me at a young age by my master potter, YOU!

    Jina, I LOVE hearing that. Thank you.