Self Criticism

When you work away from the school setting surrounded by minds you admire and depend upon you have to learn to be self critical. That is unless you operate a blog and you conduct a poll. I finished my water buckets yesterday and I wasn't happy with them. I thought they were too tall and I didn't like how the feet seemed to stick out to much and not be married to the bucket. So I used 6lbs of clay instead of 8lbs and made them shorter. I then decided I'd cut the foot like a chair seat to fit under the pot. Also staring at the wee picture of the Han Dynasty pot I thought hmmmmmmmmmm I should impress the top and the bottom instead of the middle. On the one you'll notice I stamped right up to the rim which slightly undulated it. I like that! This is almost like a rimless pot to me as I am accustomed to very robust and strong rims. Since the pots look like metal work I also added my defloculated slip thickly when applying the feet. I took welding as part of my MFA at USU and this slip looks like a bead I would draw with the stick welder on a good day.


Allyson May said…
Hey Tony,

I'm a fellow clayarter and I read your blog alomost daily. I like the way you think and your pots are pretty fine as well. Your are right about those buckets...the revised edition is much better. The size, stamping, feet and everything just seems right. I work in porcelain and alternative firing where things are tight, neat and burnished so looking at your work is a real vacation for my eyes. Thanks for doing what you do!

Allyson May
smokieclennell said…
Allyson_ thanx for the kinds. I think it was either my going thru the car wind sheild or being dropped on my head as a kid that has prohibited me from being tight and neat. checked out your website- nice work!!!
John Post said…
Hi Tony,

Your work with the stamps looks great. How large are the wood stamps you are using. I looked at the MKM stamp company website and didn't see any that looked as large as the ones on your pots. Are the stamps you are using larger than 3cm? I know everything you do is larger than life:) Did you have them make bigger custom stamps for you?
smokieclennell said…
John: the stamps I particularly like are the MKM Tall Triangle series. I will talk to Rick at Nceca about making even bigger ones. Best,
Unknown said…

I've noticed in my work a tug of things past. The tug comes from a feeling with a form. Not anything I would directly consider. It has taken me a few years to discover something about a piece that I've come back to again and again over the years. In remaking this form, I enjoy the freedom that the form allows, the spontinaety that the the forms allows and yet the exactness that the form requires. For me it has been a manipulated form which I call a "garlic house". After the final pull the form is manipulated to place 5 folds into the form. It looks a little bit like a "Hershey's Kiss" that has folds. After eight years, I am beginning to understand the tug that that particular form has had for me. Have you had an experience with a particular form? Are you willing to share that form on your blog?

From Grand Rapids where the weather was perfect for the West Michigan Potters Guild Spring Show on the first day of spring - it snowed all day and the snow only accumulated on the grass!
MattyT said…
when did you do your MFA at USU. I am visiting USU right now!
smokieclennell said…
Terry I just finished USU in May of 2009. I'm a late bloomer. Say hello to all the gang for me. tc
smokieclennell said…
Chris: the form that I have revisited for the past 20 years is the jug. It is now a 3 piece jut. I did a post on it with a pie crust bottom.
Tony - I'm another daily reader of your blog. Thanks for sharing your thought process on being self-critical and the evolution of this form. Hope to be able to apply that kind of process to my own work.

Terry Parker
Michael Mahan said…
Tony, when do you do the stamping on your pots? I do some stamping, and I stamp on the a wet cylinder prior to shaping the pot on the wheel.

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