What sort of pots do you make then?
You get asked that a lot.
In an instant one has to make a snap decision as to what sort of answer to give.
Is the inquirer a knowledgeable pottery buff or someone just making polite conversation with little real interest.
So do you shrug and modestly state:-
"You know, one off hand built pots, inspired by traditional shapes, wood fired with simple ash glazes."
The blank look tells you that what you thought was a simple précis of thirty years of pot making summed up succinctly and without waffle is way over their head.
Maybe the other tack was the correct approach, go the whole hog, take the marketing guru stance and phrase ones reply along the lines of that on the back of a bottle of wine. Go to the supermarket, pick up any bottle of wine, even the cheap ones and there it is. The marketing wordsmiths finest offer:-
'Aged in the special large oak barrels we call 'Botte' our precious Riserva strikes an elegant balance between the classic sour cherry fragrance of the best Sangiovese and intriguing hints of liquorice-infused mocha. The palate is well rounded, with very fine tannins and a long, savoury finish which lingers long after the last drop has been finished.'
Wow! got to get some of that.
It seems more and more ceramists have got some of that already and after downing the whole bottle write their sales pitch. I spotted this one recently:-
'My inspiration is found in everyday themes and daily routines. I am fascinated with materiality and the tension that operates between two and three dimensions. Repetition, construction, de-construction and the mundane emerge in the abstract and architectural forms of grids, nails and portraits.'
Wow! Not sure I understand any of that, especially as the image that accompanied those words resembled a shape, press moulded from a paper party plate. No elegant balance, definitely not well rounded. No finish that lingers. That's art I suppose or is it the Emperor's new clothes?
So do you try and then fail miserably to be smart and very commercial or make honest, gnarly pots and get on with it and let the work speak for itself?
Does anyone read this stuff anyway?
Pictures say a thousand words.
|'Boite' showing elegant poise, fine shino's with mature yew closure.|