Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Pottery mania

I've not posted much about it in recent weeks, but suffice to say that my pottery obsession continues unabated. The only reason I've not posted much about it is that I've been too busy making pottery to take pictures of it. I want to try to be a bit more disciplined about it from now on, because I do like to keep a record of what I am making and when I was making it, and what better place than the blog to do that, after all! I may have to pick a day of the week to share some pottery - the rigidity of having a specific day for a task seems to keep me on track!

I'm quite fascinated by how, as you are pursuing a craft, you quickly, and almost unthinkingly, gravitate towards something that speaks to you. Clay, as such an organic material to work with, seems to encourage that more than other crafts I've worked with, even, and sometimes it feels as if I can start with only a  vague idea in mind of what I'm trying to do, only to find that my hands find a way to form something quite different, something much more specific. 

Of course it doesn't work without technique, so at times I need to stop to think about how I might achieve a certain effect I am after, and I also spend some time making quite utilitarian things that I just think we could do with around the house. So this week I spent some time making a succulents planter for the mantlepiece. 

I like cacti, I always have, really. Their quiet stubbornness appeals to me, clinging on to life where most other plants would give up, and ever since I can remember I've kept cacti on my windowsill. As a little girl I had a wooden shelving unit to perch on the sill, given to me by my grandma, just for that purpose. Later on, as I went to university, a lot of the cacti got neglected because I couldn't take them with me and especially after my mum got ill my dad didn't really spend a lot of time looking after my plants. I don't blame him, he would just always prefer a plastic plant over the real thing, haha. 

In recent years I've come back to my cacti love, and the boys seem to take after me and often ask if they can bring home a cactus if we are dropping in at a garden centre. The thing is, though, all those little pots can be a little unsightly, and with the top-heavy cacti they are prone to falling over too! With that in mind I've decided to repot some of them together into a planter with a matching saucer so they can be displayed in style. 

This is obviously not fired yet, but I think you can get the idea, no? I quite like a non-fussy look, so the squareness appealed to me.

I'm planning a few more of these pots.

Other things I've been making are less functional and more ornamental, and I am finding that with these in particular I seem to gravitate towards organic but also quite simple shapes; curves, folded,  origami shapes, forms that suggest crumpled up paper or fabric. Pods and forms that are inspired by nature, such as this seed pod shape, or the slab-built shapes below:

I have other ideas too, that I can't wait to explore. I'll keep you posted. For now it's all packed to take to the studio tonight for firing.  :) 

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  1. I love the cacti tray, that will look impressive on a kitchen window sill. What a great pastime, I love the idea of creating something from a lump of clay.

  2. This is fascinating! I really love pottery - it brings such a warmth to the house!

  3. Your planter is terrific. I like how you put in the drain holes. It was interesting to see your collection. The curves and folds are organic and show off your mood at that time.

  4. I don't know *anything* about pottery, but I love the shapes you're creating, and the cacti tray looks like a fabulous idea! I once had a cacti right next to my bed, then put my hand on it one morning when trying to turn off the alarm clock. Ouch.