Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First work

When I first started this current pinch pot exploration...well how does one define a start date? Because the pink pinch pot made in 2005 at Penland feels like the beginning.

I loved finding pinch pots and the act of pinching..Paulus Berenson joined us at one of the workshops, thank you to Alice Ballard- as he was a key influence for her work. And I worked with and loved terra sig and low fire. But when I returned to Charlotte and the Clayworks studio as a student, I did not see an opportunity to explore it. I tried a bit with the oversight of my teacher Amy Sanders, but it did not go anywhere....


But the pinch pot above came out of me this year March 2007. I really had not delved into clay in a huge way since the Penland trip. I still took classes and did the projects and learned, but it was a lot of slab work and did not feel like ME.

See, during the Penland workshop two days prior to the end I learned that my only brother died unexpectedly. So I really spent almost two years just going through the motions.

It is a funny story how I found pinching again. Earlier this spring 2007, Julie Wiggins (an awesome artist), the studio manager, had posted notes that class shelf space was tight and we needed to get back to one shelf if you had migrated to two (which I had done). And I was so mad too as to how it was communicated...which was nothing really, except my feeling really sensitive as it was not even two years yet since my brother's death. Anyway.......

So I cleaned my shelf and found the pinch pots I had made at the studio in the fall of 2005 but never finished, not even fired. So I just went for it, put oxides on them, scratched a note to Julie in it- getting emotions out, but the writing looked great too and fired them...and they came out GREAT!!! and thus lead me to the photo above...white with deep burgundy oxide on it...

The black that is showing on the outside is from lines made inside, coated with copper iron oxide and then it burns through in some places during firing. I never know what is going to burn through and am surprised by the lines that show and don't.

Again, like memory, or communication, and time. We hold these memories inside, thoughts, feelings emotions, some show through, others don't. Burn in us. through us.


3 comments:

Jen Mecca said...

Ah, a mention of Paula again. Sometime when your in the studio I'll tell you my story. Its kind of long so I don't want to bore everyone on your blog site.

The process of making a pinch pots just calms one down. When I'm heavy in thought about what I need to do next in my studio, I always find myself holding a piece of clay and pinching it back and forth. I guess maybe I should save some of those!j

Elaine Spallone said...

I look forward to learning about your Paulus connection!

I know, calming is great. Probably why it has been so appealing to me lately. And I tend to be like a butterfly or grasshopper..flitting about..at least feel that way...so pinching counteracts that for me.

Gary O'Brien said...

Elaine, your work is wonderful... I especially love it when you say the pots "come out of you", because they do - that's the way art works.
Glad those pots were sitting on that bottom shelf waiting for you...