Thursday, June 30, 2016

Itinerant as a Tinker


As chance would have it I am plum out of my stoneware and have stooped to using porcelain. Perhaps no coincidence that I am also reading “The White Road” by Edmund de Waal. The first section on Jingdezhen was amazing as I recalled my 4 months there with the USU gang and memories flooded back. I’m now in England and South Carolina in search of the white earth.
I just love Wedgewood’s description of potters as cussed and independent. “This instability leads to short contracts, to potters off and away to the next place, as itinerant as tinkers, travelling tinsmiths, [preachers without a congregation), dogs.
I usually start by making some small pots as sketches for larger ones. If I poke the bottom in 4 places it gives me a flower pattern when trimming. I then give the foot a few bumps to create what I call a peony foot. I have not the foggiest idea what a peony even looks like but it gets the women. 



Colour shows up better on white and since I’m into colour this summer the porcelain is a good choice. At Peter’s Valley some of the student’s wood fired some Jack Troy porcelain and it was killer with shino. It almost looked like they glazed the pots in gold. I brought home a box of clay and am making some teapots to fire in Donovan’s kiln in Minnesota a couple of weeks from now.  Who said potters are as itinerant as tinkers!!!!!

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