About the pots: Life Cycle

As a maker/artist the curiosity of what is being made, for whom is it being made and how it exists after the process of making, tends to unfold in multiple layers. Life cycle refers to the attributes a pot or vessel has from beginning to end, a life cycle of an inanimate object. When considering the cycle one must consider the idea of taste, having good taste and how it leads to the understanding of good pots. Taste is recognizing beauty through direct study and becoming aware of beauty in the environment. Furthermore, taste is the recognition of the object as an end in itself, void of any function other than to be beautiful. So what is being made is an object, subject to the experiential taste of its audience manifested through the making and function of the finished piece.

In making pottery the inner vitality of the work is only reached after a long path of trial and error.  The research along this path constitutes numerous interactions on the topic by means of the material, use of the finished piece, and dialogue among people who make and or use pots. For over twenty years now my work in clay has revolved around wood fired ceramics.  The method of firing starts with an idea in relationship to the clay, wood, placement in the kiln, and function not to mention the idea of beauty. Generally, before I begin the making I have already designed the idea and given it a destination as to where it will be placed in the kiln. Mannerism applicable to certain forms, glazes if fitting, and functions related to a possible future have all been considered. The construction seems to be completely thought out however it’s just the beginning.

Matching the hatch of an idea with the material and the appropriate execution of technique starts the process. Synergistically speaking the pot has arisen from a number of influences and concerns. At the point which these ideas have been attempted, the firing complete, the pots removed from the kiln and allowed to settle on their own, the next segment of the cycle arises.

In the next stage of the pot’s existence it waits while the maker revisits, reevaluates and heads towards the beginning of the process again. Somewhere along the line a buyer comes to enlist the vessel. As a maker the idea of who buys the work and where it goes constitutes a similarity to a parent wanting the best for their child and there child giving the impression that the parent got it right. Presumably the pot is in good taste and in good company continuing the discourse a vessel maintains throughout its life. It will have other objects surrounding it, drink, food or foliage placed in it or on it. Depending on context the vessel will transcend the obvious and enlighten introspective pursuits as well as social gatherings.

In theory the pots can exist on a continuum, in and out of generations’ hands. Even if chipped or completely broken vessels manage to be repaired, used and appreciated. If death should come, the pot often finds a lesser function yet historically it has ingrained something of value. I am working with old thoughts and new ideas, old technologies and a new kiln. Hopefully in good taste, I am working to keep the cycle going and trying to get it right.


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