Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I thought I knew how to throw.

I really feel humbled hanging out with these Korean masters. It is no wonder the Japanese kidnapped the Korean potters to make their pots. I've seen great Italian and Chinese potters but the Koreans are amazing. Everything I do they do the opposite. I watched a couple of Korean potters making their traditional moon jars and it blew my mind. It starts out with a tall column the height the jar is going to be and then it is opened down thru the column. I almost don't want to make I feel like such an amateur. I need to get home to try out some of the things I've seen. I ain't gonna do it in front of them cause I've been billed as a master. We're off to the Biennial , the tool factory and then a big dinner with the Icheon city councilor. This dinner is also further evidence of the red carpet service being extended to our group of potters. This is truly an amazing experience. Our leader Unha Yi Hill is soooooooooo fantastic at opening doors for us.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No where in the world

I've been everywhere man but no where in the world have I seen a group of potters being treated like royalty. We were greeted in Korea by 5 of the 7 designated master potters of Korea. First evening the masters and their wives cooked us up a feast fit for kings and queens. Our first day we toured their studios which mind blowing. I have seen such exquisite porcelain in my life. There were 100 lb vases that were carved and inlaid with celedons to die for. Some pots were said to take over a month just to carve and decorate. I felt very insecure about my presenting at the festival but I am what I am and I ain't what I ain't.
After the tour we went to Icheon Potters Festival and were then invited by the Mayor of Icheon for a mind numbing dinner that included countless dishes of yummy food. His Cultural Affairs team and translators were also there to greet us. We were presented with a beautiful lidded cup and saucer with crane inlays and a too die for handle. I thought I wasn't going to see a good handle in Korea.
In our backyard there are some nice ongi pots filled with feed for the rooster that has woke us each morning.  He may be my dinner if he keeps it up.




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Let's talk bout it!

I make no apologies for my opinion about making pots in meat trays for sale. I think it is great to introduce students to clay by means of meat trays, dollies and embossed wall paper or whatever texture available. Perfect intro for beginners. Whatever gets them hooked but then move them on.
I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by fine craft all my life. I ate off Shimoaka plates,  Ed Drahanchuk, Jack Sures, Robin Hopper, John Chalke the entire gammit. I have also had the privilege to have taught at a school that encourages critical dialogue about ceramic art. If a student brought a pot made in a meat tray to a critique students would pay admission to see the horror on 6 faculties faces. My best students have collections of other potters work. They have libraries full to bulging with books on their profession. They can name who made what pot from 50 paces. They attend gallery openings, shows and attend workshops.  They understand and respect the profession. They have not paid 3 years tuition to be told everything they make is "sooooooo pretty." I am more proud of my students accomplishments than my own. They do me proud!
Here is a note I received from Chandler. It is loooooooooong! It is continuing the critical dialoque that I believe is so missing in Art Centers, Guilds and coffee shops across our nation.
Tomorrow we unload Lord Baltimore. I got my fingers, toes and t's crossed.
Take it away, Chandler!


Dear Tony,
we have had some good old chats about this crazy profession ours lately. This new chapter regarding creating an invitational show and what that means to the clay community at large is a complex one and of real interest to me. I told you I would try to distill what it means to me having had experience with it.
So here is some more info and hopefully some clarity on this invitational thing...

11 years ago, after finally deciding that our local guild sale wasnt right for me and my work, for common, simple reasons like:
1.most of the participants were part time potters with other income/professions and really didnt need to earn money from selling their work so they were selling them way too cheaply making mine look too expensive. Their prices simply didnt reflect the reality of what it costs to run a studio and be a full time potter. My sales dropped and dropped over the years.

2. most of the other participants had very little training in the craft, were fairly new at it and as such their pots weren't sufficiently resolved or the kind of work I wanted to be associated with. There was nothing wrong with it. Lots of it was really nice and fun and useful. It just didnt work for me.
( I believe it is organizations like guilds/fusion/etc who do a disservice to most new potters by promoting the implicit understanding that if you have taken a few pottery lessons now you are a pro and you ought to get out there and start selling your work: like that is the next logical step. Then the quality of work at these sales ends up being not the greatest: and then the public starts to equate this quality of work with what hand made ceramics is all about. The last guild sale I went to I looked around the space and saw a sea of Rosies Red and Floating blue pots and I knew a huge percent of these pots had been fired by techs at community centres: Wouldn't it make sense that one criteria of being at a stage to sell work is that you make your own glazes and fire your own work?)

3. I really resented the standards committee thing where often people with little expertise were disqualifying perfectly fine pots for really dumb and WRONG reasons. ( I simply trusted ( and knew full well) that the artists in 260 Fingers would come to the show with incredible well made work and display it in a way that would do the show proud..and of course that is what happened.)

4. there was a certain amount of back stabbing, clique -y-ness, complaining and unfriendliness I witnessed over and over.

5. I really needed a place to show and sell my work!

SO I just marched right out and booked a really nice hall and then INVITED the number of artists I felt the space could hold, assuming they had professional quality exhibition displays AND such a number of artists could pay for what I figured the show might cost.
I reached out to the other ceramicists, (mostly friends or at least acquaintances) in a radius around Ottawa who I knew had the same issues as me with the guild sale paradigm or those who were only showing at more far flung shows or not at all due to a lack of a venue for them as full time professionals with a certain reputation for making “good”? “resolved” ? “critically acclaimed”?? clay art.
There was a nice symbiosis in that there were 26 artists initially invited and the hall held us all well, with a decent amount of room to show the work properly and our fees paid for the show.
We formed a non-profit corporation. I was willing to be nominally the “director” as we needed to have a board and an AGM etc which we have in the form of an amazing potluck lunch in an art filled home of of one of members.
The big point to stress here is that from the get-go we have the most fun, problem solve in a very positive, supportive way, help and encourage each other and have formed a very special bond. We are so happy for each others successes and adventures and really step up when one of us needs help in tough times...it is such a delight to know this group and ply our craft in such a respectful, thoughtful, cheerful manner.
On our website is an article called Umbutu referring to what makes our show special. It was written by 260 Fingers member Paula Murray and was published in Ceramics Technical recently. You can see that link at www.260fingers.ca .
Each year there is room for guest artists and we try to bring in new voices in clay from Quebec and south, central and western Ontario. We have had amazing guest artists which will be going up on our site soon.

Now I will address the overstated issue of backlash...I never felt hated for doing this although I heard there was some grumbling to begin with in some quarters. I kinda figured some noses would be out of joint but probably wouldn't stay that way for long. I really couldn't concern myself with that. And after all, MY nose was out of joint at the dumbing down of the craft and the elevation of mediocrity that was so pervasive and accepted.
However this is how I make my living. It was a huge necessity to create a place to show and sell my work that was appropriate for me and we do live in a region of over a million people: I figured there might be room for more than one pottery sale!! It didnt hurt to be in surrounded by artists whose work I admire.
On the opening night of our first show, there was a huge lineup! I was watching closely to see how folks were reacting. It was interesting. I think they were expecting the same kind of experience as going to a regular pottery sale. Well, the expression on the faces of these visitors was priceless. They were literally gobsmacked to be in that place surrounded with display after display of excellent ceramic art and pottery. First they were very quiet, then got their bearings and then the roar and excitment in the place was wild!
Funnily not a lot of our guild members of whom there are many, have come to see the show. Its interesting. I did see a few upside down smiles on a few familiar faces but that quickly changed. It was like they were inwardly saying> “so this is what you were talking about”.
However lots and lots of my students and other potters I know have told me again and again what a joy this show/sale is. They don't feel its elitist or arrogant. They see what its about.
Its not about exclusion. Its just different.
My primary objective was to provide a venue for artists who have worked hard to become noted in the craft. I hope that in creating 260 Fingers, the show has inspired a few clay artists to up their game...I want to create a bar for aspiring artists to rise to.
I feel this has been lacking in Fusion. I really hope a potential invitational show for recognized professionals will create new dialogue and new energy for this organization.
There are so few good places to see really terrific clay art, and let me tell you: seeing a whole bunch of it in one place is quite fantastic! Its a gift to the clay community.
I have heard through the grapevine that 260 Fingers is one of the most anticipated events on the Ottawa arts calendar. I am now seeing some of the more rarified curators, gallery owners etc who usually don't even recognize craft as worth their time coming to the show: often more than once in a weekend.
I am completely unapologetic about having helped get this show off the ground.
I would love to chat with anyone who is having trouble with this. I hope to be invited to any INVITATIONAL show run under the Fusion Banner. And if I'm not, I'll still be there looking for that perfect irresistible object I cant live with out. Yum yum.
Best wishes everyone.
Chandler Swain in Almonte, On

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meat trays and paper dollies




A friend phoned to ask me to participate in a provincial show he is leading. He wants the show to be by invitation and by juried application. I told him he is going to be hated by every one that makes their pots with meat trays and paper dollies. They will want to be in the show. They expect to be in the show. If they have done any volunteer work they might even expect to be the featured artist.  They will track him down and brand him with heated cookie cutters, slaughter and quarter him and package him in meat trays that are no longer able to be used for slab forms. His hunters will be wearing a war paint of Floating Blue and Rosie’s Red.  The fire will be fueled with paper dollies and used boxes that contained their prepared glazes.   A tip of the hat to you, dude. There are plenty of venues for pedestrian works. Hell, every town and church has a craft show that showcases this work. There really ought to be a place in Toronto (Canada’s largest city) for a show of the best of our country. It is about time! It is happening in America! What do you think Dick Aerni is doing in Rochester and Danny F in Washington, DC?  How about the St. Croix River Valley Potters?  We always seem to follow a few years behind and oh yeah Canadians eat their own so be prepared to have your final resting place be a Styrofoam meat tray.
I send this blog post out as a harbinger of what you are in for. If it goes off like a bomb like my cookie cutter post did you might want to consider dropping it and heading for cover. That post had the most response of any I have ever done by a times of 5.  On the other hand you could give a certain friend of ours near the Nations Capital a call to prepare your defense. Change never happens because of those that say or do nothing. Get some sleep! Our friend escaped with her life and now runs two successful Invitational Shows and is co-owner of the best pot shop in our country- bar none! The General – Almonte, Ontario.
Hey man, why Toronto?  I love The Hammer and The Hammer loves the arts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

R U Happy?



The topic around the firebox over the past week centered around the topic “R U Happy? Answers varied from we’re working hard on it to I am contented but not really happy.
So I took the day after the firing and drove to Toronto to have a belated B-Day lunch and dinner with my daughter Robin. Lunch was with potter friends- a plate by Ryan Marmoseo(sp), beet soup in bowls by Marcelina Salazar,  plate with brie and pepper corns by Deb Freeman,  and plates by Gayle Fairchild.  I was on the table in the form of a vase full of iris, Lesley MacInNally  was in the bathroom and Mary Philpott in the living room.  Robin has a house full of great furniture, fine craft and pots. Her old man didn't pick them for her. She did! It comes from a life surrounded by tasteful things.
She toasted me and said “ Dad, r u happy?” I said what the hell are you asking me that for? She said “ We should be asking that of each other more often.” I raised a clever one!



So I know my thoughtful readers are waiting for my answer. Before I answer the question you have to answer.  If you are genuinely happy then I am so thrilled and would you please share your answer.  It may make you a fortune. If you are not then don’t hang your blues on me or anyone else. Only you can make you happy!
So my answer is – I’m workin’ on it! I’ve learned from yesterday. I lovin’ today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I think this afternoon I need to have a wee power nap.  Life is good for those that know that life is good.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tail

After that week of firing my internal clock is all messed up. I zonked out in the arms of my yellow chair for a few hours and went to the workshop to glaze some pots and try out my new tail. Annabelle gave me an entire deer tail. I wonder if he is missing it?
It took some getting used to using it and it dripped when I first gave it a charge of oxide. You have to commit and get the stroke done quickly. This actually suits me as I have no small motor skills at all. I had to resort to my favourite Ron Mello brush for the finer strokes.
I have never liked flat bottomed cups since they are boring to look at and all potters inspect the bottom of pots. I decorated the bottom of these cups and will use the wadding I made for the wood kiln and wad them in the gas firing. Yes, it is another few steps in the process but as I have said many times "It is what you do when you don't have to that makes good pots better. That's just another take on "God is in the details.




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Long awaited cocktail

It has been 6 days since we first started loading pots into the anagama known as Lord Baltimore. It took a day to load the kiln with hundreds and hundreds of pots and another half day to build the step grate and brick up the door. The match was lit on Tuesday at 2:30. I can't thank Chris Lass enough for hosting the Hamilton Potters Guild Wood Fire Mentorship Group at her studio and wonderful kiln. Chris and her husband Mark were fabulous hosts and gave help and guidance throughout the week. To celebrate the final stoke we had a beer and bump or a pint and a gold watch. We all shared a well deserved beer and a shot of Maker's Mark. A fitting brand of bourbon for the marks the kiln will leave on our pots. I am sure the crew is either sleeping or sitting in a chair in some state of coma. We will have to wait till next Saturday to see the fruits of our labour.  Four days of firing and 23 bundles of wood ought to leave a remarkable surface. Fingers, toes, legs and t's crossed.
Talk around the kiln this morning was the high prices we could all charge. Ha, ha! I've been down that gravel road before.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Doin' the crime



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If you are going to do the crime you have to put in the time. I have been sentenced to life in prison around a hot firebox. I have spent a lot of time of late questioning whether I should put myself up for parole. I have made a reputation as a hard core criminal and I have to see the last year out working on the chain saw gang since I have the privilege of being King Rat for a bunch of hard core criminals. When I think long about this life sentence of hard labour I think of how it has been so good for an uncontrollable man like me. Look what doing the crime has brought to me. In this next year I am a mentor for 10 great potters. I am a presenter at the Icheon Potters Festival in Korea, the presenter at the International Ceramics Festival in Abersystwyth , Wales, and in April of 2016 a presenter at the North Carolina Potters Conference. Throw in to that mix workshops in BC and Italy plus others in Canada and the US. Wood ( spelled that way on purpose) this have all happened for me if I did the soft crimes would I get these opportunities? Some with a God given natural talent can make such beautiful work from non solid fuel kilns. My work suits wood. It is a life sentence. I am now training a great bunch that will stoke when I can’t.
Here are some of my cell mates. Do they look like they are working hard? Hey I’ve seen Anne Marie the one in the homeless outfit cleaned up and she cleans up very nicely. Back on shift tonight 8pm to 4am. The coyotes were howling last night. Wood I? You bet I wood!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Pope has been chosen!

Well the first smoke came out the stack of Lord Baltimore the anagama this afternoon. The Devil's choir have gathered around to feed the flames of hells fire.  We are escorting our pots through a long hot journey to hell and back.  We are one with the process. They will either be blessed or crucified depending on so many variables- wood, weather, stoking pattern,  packing density, the moon, a slight wind out of the east or maybe the stare of a hawk from the nearby maple tree. Wood firing is so magical in so many ways. The serendipity that can happen to your pots is beyond anything I could ever think to do to my work. But most of all it is about learning to be a dependable part of a team. To be part of a group that needs one another to pull this process off.  I also love hard physical work. It is so much more pleasant than hard mental work. I love to split wood! I love the smell of smoke! I love the crackle of the wood! I love the people I have surrounded myself with. I love you Mr. Hawk. Watch over my crew these next 5 days will ya?



Monday, April 13, 2015

Bring it on!




Left Naples yesterday at 4am and here I am in Ontario the next day and we just finished loading a sweet load of pots for an anagama firing that will last until Saturday night. There was a day when a younger me would fire the wood kiln for 32- 38 hours solo.  Bring it on! Sock it to me! Let’s sweat bullets!  Let’s rumble! Yes sir!   Not interested in giving 75%.  I want 100% or a little more..  I taught myself to lean against a tree and sleep soundly for 3- minutes between loading the firebox. Pots and wood firing is not a social for me. It’s business! It’s not who brought the samosas? Oh, I brought the potato salad! Oh, isn’t this the most wonderful baklava!  I have a dinner to go to and oh I have to have 12 hours sleep. This is a commitment you make to your pots and in the case of a 4 day firing it is covering the backs of your teammates.  A wood firing is a rumble. It is not a social! It is hard sweaty work that makes you hurt where you used to play.
Danny Boy I’m still talkin’ to ya.  Yes we came from the same side of the tracks. When a friend is in a rumble  you be there! Hear what I say??????

Kickin' Ass





When someone has experienced a close call in their life they often see themselves as invincible.  Danny Ripka got up at 4am to drive me to the Ft. Meyers airport for my early flight back to The Promised Land. More good talk on the drive. When you have worked the streets, experienced stuff that most would not want to experience in their lives you develop a mental toughness.  Danny is built more like a thrower than a runner- short and stocky. A runner is supposed to be tall and lean. Danny kicked their asses in runs. Why????? Is it small man complex? No, it is mental toughness. There is a certain amount of mental toughness required to make pots for a living. No matter how big the challenge is or how many tell you it is impossible to make a living at pottery you find a way.  You work harder than anyone else. Danny told me when he was about to run a marathon he had already spent a month running 28 miles a day. When he stood at the starting line he said to himself  I am going to kick your asses you SOB’s because I have trained harder than you!!! A true entrepreneur doesn’t believe they can fail either.  They have another gear to shift into when everyone else has gone to the limits. It’s about mental toughness.  I told Danny that pottery is a marathon not a 100 yard dash.  You got a lot of training to put in before you can kick my ass Danny Boy! I’ll be waiting for you at the finish line. Plans are underway at Annabelle’s studio for me to lead a longer race next winter. Get your training in  because I’ll be kickin’ ass and takin’ names.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Internal fortitude!

Well I just wrapped up a great week doing the Double Whammy workshop with Hayne Bayless here in Naples, Florida at the combined studio venture of Annabelle Johnson Studio and Clayland Studios.
I had an amazing group of potters that made some big pots. To post on a blog as much as I do you have to have a story to tell and to have a story you have to leave the farm once in a while. God, I got enough material outta my bunch to keep the blog active for a month. I always begin a workshop by introducing me and then asking how each person got involved with clay. The best story to date had to be from Danny. It is a story of amazing personal determination. Danny had a teacher in high school that turned him on to clay. He turned a blind eye when Danny would skip other classes to work in the pottery studio. Danny was so into pottery he wanted to be a potter and bought a wheel. As it turns out he became hooked on drugs and booze and made his living as a full time pusher for several years. He owed a dealer money and had to give him his wheel in payment. This ended a passion for clay for over 25 years. 25 years ago Danny and his bride Honey got sober. He celebrated that HUGE accomplishment today. Congrats Danny and Honey!!! With this life turn around he decided they would live here in Naples half the year and half the year in the north. They have been living their dream happily ever since. Danny turned to running when he gave up booze and alcohol and has won dozens upon dozens of Iron Man races, marathons, and holds the record for a master runner at something like 480 miles in a week. He still has some work to do on his taste in pots. He picked this one up on the roadside and wondered why no one else had. We need to talk more, Danny!
Annabelle took me to meet her mentor and old time hippie potter friend Rinny Ryan. Still going strong and living the life. I bought Danny and Honey a jar and some honey to celebrate their big day of sobriety. The jar read "Stay healthy, eat your honey!' I hope Honey is still talking to him tomorrow.  I think there is no doubt. They have carried each other thru the worst of times and deserve the best of times.



Hey everyone thanks for all the B-Day wishes. I had a great day, an awesome week and an even better year.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I'm moving!

I love it here! This is paradise! I can take a pass on the Lexus but a Wave Runner is a must have. I sold my Harley when I moved from the north country to the big city. I miss the bike but really at my age I worry about other drivers and their respect for bikers. The day on the Wave Runner was like me having my bike again with the air, the sun and the speed. Here is a pic of me at 70k having the time of my life. This is sooooooooooooo much fun!
The day after I get home I have to load an anagama so I went searching for some sea shells to put under the wadding for my group. Do you think I'll find any here?
At Stan's Bar I got to sit in Wilson the dogs chair. Wilson was off to another bar and his owner told me I could have the chair of honour. It is quite a priviledge to sit in a dogs chair at a bar.
Here is a close up of a spoonbill we saw in the mangroves.




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real Men Can Wear Pink

I'm here in Naples, Florida with my friend Annabelle Johnson doing a workshop with Hayne Bayless. To loosen me up for the workshop Annabelle and her squeeze Walt took me Sea Dooing out to the islands off the coast of Naples. This has to be have been one of the best days of my life.  It is so gorgeous here. It is totally PARADISE! We saw dolphins, eagles, herons, egrets, pelicans, and these pink birds that were so beautiful that we killed the engines on the boat and paddled up to them. It was so AWESOME! I am discovering there is life outside of pots.
After a day on the water we went to Stan's Bar for a beer. There were all walks of life at this bar. There were Harley riders, Benz and BMW drivers and folks that fish. A tshirt that walked by read
Tobacco
Liquor
Beer
Who brought the chips?
I love America! Let's celebrate how awesome it is.
T



Poisonous?

I hope all this stuff is poisonous cause I just ate a couple of those tiny bananas and the yummy star shaped thing that I don't have a clue what it is. Fact is I don't know what any of this is except the tiny bananas. I hope I wake up in the morning!  I refused to pay airport and airline prices so I was famished when I arrived.
I'm doing a week long throwing workshop here in Naples, Florida and trusty ole Air Canada was two hours late departing. I finally opened the door of my digs at 3am.  I'd fly any other airline than Air Canada. I had to pay for my luggage, they wanted $3 for a wee bag of nuts. What ever happened to free nuts??? The service wasn't all that friendly. Perhaps they were as tired as me and pissed at leaving late.  I thought Canadians were supposed to be polite and nice. It is rumoured that we say sorry to a tree if we bump into it.
Thankfully I had a awesome cabbie from Iran that helped me get thru all the codes to enter my gated community. Annabelle has really made this potter feel pretty special. Haynes Bayless arrives today to share the condo. We are doing a tag team workshop. I love his hand built work. Once again teach to learn. Lucky me! There are a couple of available spots if you're near the hood.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Stepping down


Stepping Down
It is better to been seen as the end of an era rather than the end of an error.  After 15 years of teaching at my beloved Sheridan College I am stepping down so that someone else can step it up.  I have felt so privileged to teach there and I owe the staff and students soooooooooo much. I honestly believe it was the real kick start to what has become a rich life full of friends in clay many of whom are my former students.
The winds of change have blown me far from the school and as I have said before if you pick something up you have to put something down. The year 2015 sees me in West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, New York, Korea, Wales, Ottawa, British Colombia, Alberta, and Italy. I also have a show in Ottawa, one very prestigious show in Rochester with some of my favourite potters, a show with my wood fire mentorship group at The Store in Hamilton, and a wood fire show at The General in Almonte .In between all of this I feel a big debt to my Hamilton Potters Guild mentor ship crew and will be firing kilns with them sometimes the day after I get off a plane and flying out again the day after the unload.  Oh yeah did I say I need pots for all of this so my arse will be strapped to the wheel.
Andrew Kellner is coming home this summer from doing his Masters at West Virginia and plans are in full swing for him to work here at The Cactus Lounge with me. He has an amazing work ethic and I think our combined energy with make me feel 35 again.
Thank you Bruce Cochrane for offering me this fantastic job some 15 years ago in a bar at NCECA in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fancy us both meeting in a bar.
Here are some shots from last night of the Graduating Show at The Gardiner Museum in Toronto last night.  What a great show of pots and conceptual work. One of the best shows yet and there have been some killer ones.  Jordan Scott stole the night with The Gardiner Award of cash and a show next year. Yeah for pots!!!!!! Korean influenced puncheong jars!  Yep, and there is our Cassara( sorry about the pic).  Jordan is coming to Korea with me



and two of my other Sheridan students. Geezus, have I made the right decision???

Thursday, April 2, 2015

When a woman asks!



When a woman says I really like what you are doing but are you done yet? Boyzzzzzzzz, I know the answer! It means you’re not done and ya got another long arduous 3 to 4 minutes to put in.  In this case it took me longer than 3 minutes because the clay had got pretty hard.  I wasn’t done yet and by cutting a maple leaf hole in the side of the pot it gave another possible spot for an expert flower arranger to do something special. No, Doc Agel that expert is not you.
After our crit of the last wood firing at Pinecroft I got a phone call from one of the mentees saying she loved the critiques and gained so much from them but in the future she wanted to be more vocal and express herself. Well, Jen Drysdale the passive aggressive critique style seems to be working for you. Thanx for your phone call! I have learned more from teaching than most of all my other mistakes.
I also made a third vase, vaze, clay object and this time I extended the shoulders  which made it look really like a female with a V neck sweater.  Since these pots are destined for the anagama and trial by fire I figured my lady needed some protection.  I wrapped nature’s blanket around her shoulders


. I think she is the most successful of the three. Gee, it is amazing what can happen when ya work on an idea. MORE IDEAS!!!