Thursday, December 20, 2007
Now that I'm home every one's asking how the experience in China will change my work. I think it's going to take quite awhile to absorb all that I saw and all the variety of techniques that I tried. What I can say right from the get go is that the clay influenced my work more than anything. The kind of clay you use dictates the outcome more than anything. I started off using the Jingdezhen porcelain and tried applying a deflocculated slip poured on plaster bats as a type of loose sprig decoration. This was semi successful and I dropped it since i didn't feel it suited me. I have no pictures of that work which shows my interest in it! I then went to a Tian Boa stoneware that had a very nasty personality and didn't agree to altering or handle attachments both of which I'm fond of doing. I got a few decent pots from that clay but was still unsatisfied. We than took a side trip to Yixing and nothing would do but me come back and make some hand built Yixing influenced teapots. I enjoyed the hand building since the studio was starting to get cold.
A bicycle trip past a saggar maker got us interested in saggar clay so i made some rather large buckets and baskets from that clay. It was full of all kinds of aggregate such as rocks, ground up bisque and pieces of glass the size of your thumb. I quite enjoyed this clay except that it's colour was like oatmeal cookies in the kiln.
A trip to the decal factory got me interested in engobe decals so my last few weeks had me back to porcelain and cutting it up and adding gnar-gnar and decals. I think these pots were a successful play of pretty against nasty. I like to call them pretty nasty pots.