Monday, 12 February 2007

My pottery ..OR.. why can't I let go of old crafts?

Back in the 1980's, (seems a lifetime ago) I went to TAFE (Technical and Further Education College) and got my ceramic certificate. (The equivalent now is an associate diploma)

It was a lot of study and hard work, we built and fired fibre kilns and brick kilns and raku kilns, we wood fired, we salt glazed, we dug holes and pitfired, we tossed all kinds of chemicals and substances in our glazes and firings with gay abandon.
We studied glaze technology and learned Brogniarts formulae - me, who can't add without a calculator.

The course was supposed to be 4 years part time but we really put in 7 days a week and now I couldn't imagine devoting so much single minded energy and time.

After the course I set up a small studio at home and produced functional pottery for art shows and galleries for about ten years, interspersed with some teaching.

Sometime in the 90's the market began to be swamped with cheap asian imports, (which unfortunately for us, looked really good!) suddenly coffee cups didn't sell so well and I was pretty sick of them anyway.

I packed away the clay and glaze materials and 'lent' my studio to my daughter who was doing a BA in visual arts and needed a work space. While she was doing that I went back to TAFE and did a Needlecraft Certificate

I eventually got my studio back but not the dedication to stay up til 2am waiting for cone 10 to drop.

But I still can't make the break and part with my pottery tools (and I'm not talking about little wooden turning tools, I mean the big stuff, kick wheel, electric wheel, 14cu ft. gas kiln, pug mill, bags of dried clay that just need to be slaked)

Why do we hang on to our old craft goods like this? I know I'm not the only one who has these old reminders, it's bad feng shui, and bad clutter - do I think that now I'm twenty years older I'm suddenly going to want to start it all again.

Anyway, I thought I'd try some photographs of my pottery pieces that I kept, I only have a few photos of the old work and feel a need to make some kind of record for myself, so here is the first lot of photos.

This is one I'm quite fond of, about 23 cm tall, asymmetrical, salt glaze, I think (from memory) the blue was probably sprayed cobalt oxide.

my pottery

my pottery

my pottery


mimi k said...

beautiful pot :-) I used to be a potter too. The building where I had my studio burnt down and that was the end of that. No sorting through stuff and slowly getting rid of it. There are so many ways to move on!

Erica said...

Oh that is awful, a drastic way of moving on, I sometimes jokingly say I need a good fire, should stop kidding, I may be tempting fate!

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