Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sizing Things UP

by Eleanor Hendriks

I know, I was just here saying I didn't have time to blog but let's put it this way instead -things will be even more sporadic than usual in Elan-land during the summer...

I had a bit of time in the studio today, so I got going on restocking my Berry Bowl supply in an attempt to keep ahead of demand -a very satisfying project because now when customers request the colours I have sold out of I can say that they are already in the works...

And then to spice things up, I set myself a bit of a challenge.

The Etsy Mud Team is having a bottle challenge in August and today was really the last day I could start them and still have any hope of finishing in time for the entry date, since I will be away on vacation between now and then.

I usually work in multiples, but this time rather than making a bunch of things the same size I decided to make the same shape in 4 different sizes. I have done this many time with bowls and don't find it all that hard, but repeating this bottle was a real trick!

I started with the largest (13") bottle, because I figured it would be the most difficult and that making smaller things go where I wanted them to would be easier. I have to say, the smallest (6") bottle took me the longest. I found it tricky to duplicate the curves when I couldn't really fit my hand in the bottle or my fingers down inside the neck. I have gained a new appreciation for potters that make miniatures -and this piece isn't even that small -it is still 6" tall!

I think I did pretty well in my attempt at doing the clay version of hitting the reduce button on the photocopier...


It is always amazing to me to see how just the slightest change in angle or curve can change the character of a piece. In fact, I think that is one of the things that compels me back to the studio time and again -the chance that this time I will get the perfect combination of curves and angles (and then maybe the perfect combination of colours and glazes...) And it is why handmade objects often have a life that we don't see in manufactured goods.

When each manufactured good comes out the same, the original design must have the elusive je ne sais quoi but often the original is average at best or compromised by efficiencies required by the manufacturing process along the way.

While making handmade pottery, the potter is making hands on decisions at every second of the forming thus having a profound effect on the end result.


So can I pass the challenge on to my clay addicted readers? I'd love to see someone else give the clay version of a reducing photocopier a try and I'd love to see the results...

6 comments:

Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

Excellent scale work!! Your form is flawless.

Linda Starr said...

Just wonderful pots and the scalin is great, you won't see me even attempting it.

Natalie -- NKP Designs said...

These are so beautiful! So beautiful!

Madmud said...

What a fun challenge. I may have to try it, though maybe an easier shape to start with!!

StudioÉLAN said...

MadMud -be sure to show us!!

Anonymous said...

HEy, those are great forms, and the reduction came out fantastically. I shall have to try that, although I am notoriously poor at repeating the same form. I don't know ifI get bored, but I think it has to do with something else you mentioned, that the slightest change in a curve or angle can change the character of a pot. I don't now how many times I have been throwing, and see a great shape, then a few more seconds presure with the rib, and the form is gone. Perhaps after a few more seconds of pressing around, another appealing form jumps into view, and I have to decide to stop there. Maybe I just see too many great forms to stop at one, so I get bored with one.
Thank you for an enjoyable and thought provoking post. Please continue your good work!

Boring Guy

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