On yesterday’s blog post a reader wrote isn’t that the same form you have been working on for 15 years? Actually, no it is the same form I’ve been working on for the 35 years since I spent a summer at Wobage Farm, Upton Bishop, Herefordshire, Wales with Mick and Sheila Casson. For me and I think my friend Robin Grass Hopper Mick’s jugs were the standard to reach for. Look at Robin’s jug on the well used cover of my Functional Pottery book. This jug so speaks to me of Mick.
Here is a big jug at my front door that I use to put my canes in. You can certainly see what I was looking at way back some 20 years ago when I made it. It took many variations to make that jug mine. The addition of a third part – the foot made it more mine. I go back to this form time and time again changing little things like the rim, the handle, the handle termination, and now adding handle to handle.
I think if you were to draw a graph of a serious potter’s growth it would zoom like a rocket for a decade and then it will go flat with maybe small growth blips over the years. Some potters zoom and then stall forever.
I remember Mick telling me the building of his wood salt kiln rejuvenated his enthusiasm for his work. I think teaching has been the fuel that has kept my fire alive. I am so pleased to see the great work of the students I have influenced over the past 20 years. They are now adding a fourth part to my third part.
When Leonard Cohen was asked if he knew when he had written a good song. He replied “ If I knew where the good songs came from I’d go there more often.!”