Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gesture



Gesture is one of the things I'm interested in when looking at pots. For me this is often shown in pots made from soft clay and trimmed at a soft cheese stage. Trimming soft allows the potter to make marks and gestures. Trimming hard is a bit like lathe work and seems to me leaves the surface smooth and rather boring. I have seen examples of a potter throwing pots leaving gesture on the outside only to trim the inside. What do you mean trim the inside???? Who said there was rule about only trimming the outside? This may well be the way I will need to approach the clay in Jingdezhen. Sometimes the clay leads you and you must find a way to get friendly with it. The totally unforgiving Lizella clay that I used at USU forced me to cut it in order to alter it. It would not bend without cracking, so I just cut it and reattached. The clay lead me in a direction of it's own and once I learned what the clay was trying to teach me I loved it.
I'm showing two bowls from my collection. One is the bottom of the beautifully decorated cobalt bowl from Jingdezhen. Check out the foot ring! What a huge disappointment! A. that it isn't glazed inside and B. that there is no gesture in the trimming of the foot.
The other little bowl is one I bought in Mashiko when Lee Love kindly toured me around. It was made by Korean potter working in Mashiko. It was cut off the hump and the foot ring left untouched but there is noticeable gesture in the quick trimming of obviously soft clay
Watch potters pick up pots! The foot ring is the first thing they examine. It is also the part they fondle when holding. I have a foot fetish and hope that I will find a way to trim the Jingdezhen porcelain in a casual gestural way.

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