Colour as default

Yesterday on FB a well respected potter said that wood firers use the wood kiln as a default for their not having to pay attention to composition and line.  Just as I got my second answer ready,
Wouldn't this look better with red, blue, green, black, yeller and cobalt and copper drips. 

Shiny brown and glazed cement grey.
the post vanished.  This a bone this dog won't let go of.  This is a broad sweep of the brush when you look at wood firing from where I sit. I invite you to visit Bon Feu Deux this weekend at Shane Norrie Contemporary - an exhibition of 26 Ontario wood fire potters doing very diverse and varied surfaces..
 I would suggest that more potters use colour as a default for weak pots. Splashing all the colours in the glaze kitchen on one pot reminds me of teaching the first semester of second year at Sheridan. On day one I would tell them they should know what glaze they are going to use before they make the pot. This of course flew over their heads and when glazing day came the pots looked like a pizza with everything on it. Every glaze in the glaze lab was on their pots.
It is true the market place is demanding colour.  I am now working with a satin matte white. I did shino when no one else did and now everyone is doing it. Surely the prettier the colours the better the potter must be. The maverick glaze job will make ones pots sing on the mountain tops.
Take John Britts Glaze Course and your pots will thereafter be amazing with their new yet to be seen spectacular colours. I certainly recommend John's teaching to anyone. I wonder what percentage of the hundreds/thousands John has taught go back to their studios do the work and their pots change.
The multi coloured robe ain't gonna disguise the form.  That is where the truth lies.
 I have 3 big moon jars with craters on the moon firing in my gas kiln as I type. They are glazed in Buttermilk. People would think I was a whole lot better if I put on some yeller, some blue, some red, some green, some black, some crystal, powdered them with cobalt and copper, maybe a dusting of ash or soda ash.
The best things in life aren't things.- Art Buchwald. I have learned a lot about that around the fire box. Going to surround myself with my woodies at Bon Feu Deux in Stratford this weekend and then the next weekend at 260 Fingers in our nation's capital-
Got- brown down.
 Ottawa. Life is good for those of us that know that life is good.


Anonymous said…
I feel the same way about potters who use underglaze straight out of the jar, no thought given to colour mixing or colour palette. It's a visual eyesore, with all that intense colour piled on.
Anonymous said…
Was that the thread pertaining to the growth of the popularity of woodfiring and someone mentioned that it was so they could avoid decoration?
I’m sure for some that is true, that some people hide behind woodfiring so they don’t have to decorate or Think they can pay less attention to composition or line, but doesn’t the same hold true for people who fire anyone other method? If you take a crappy pot and put the most spectacular glaze in the world on it, or fire it in a wood/gas/electric kiln, it’s still a crappy pot. It’s unfair categorization and slight against woodfirers as a whole. Woodfiring is not a cop out.
I think woodfirers have to pay equal attention to all the same considerations of composition and line as any other potter.. and more! For example.. What surfaces and textures catch ash well.. what little accent or design consideration can be added to a pot to take full advantage of the path of the flame? Etc. etc etc.

Further to a previous discussion on fb, I think wood firing is is going through a bit of a Renaissance now partially due to the fact that there’s more individuals promoting and teaching it, building kilns, and there’s more opportunity for people/potters/public to try it and to get a taste for it. I know, for us, we built our small wood kiln because frankly firing our gas kiln was just not as cost effective as it used to be. We don’t live in town so a wood kiln was an option. (Its also nice not to be tied to the grid for the kiln or beholding to a fossil fuel co).
Woodfiring is a different animal and I think once someone tries it, it sells itself, and I think that actually the clincher. Pottery is really all about the process. I don’t know how long the popularity upswing will last, but I think it’s a really good thing for pottery as a whole.

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