Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Past Article

Hi all. So I’ve been thinking about moments in the journals history (or my history with the journal) and what articles, photos and reviews have stood out for me. The first one that springs to mind and the one I refer back to most often is from 47/1, ‘The point of interest: function and the art of pottery’; p50 by Ian Jones.
I hope this link works and I hope you guys take a gander.
When I first read the article I think it both asked, and answered, questions I didn’t know needed to exist… Does that make sense?
When I refer back to it now, I think I’m doing it for reassurance.
In regards to my own work, I’m hoping that when a pot isn’t being used for its functional purpose it’s altering a space, maybe just visually, maybe physically as well, the same way other art forms do. When the Piece is being used for its function I feel this is the missing piece in the puzzle. It’s creates a relationship between artist and user, hopefully this happens on a conscious level from the users perspective.

I like to think of this as an instruction or demand from the maker on how to view the work, similar to the way Mark Rothko wished for his paintings to be viewed from a distance of 18 inches (around 45cms for us youngins) which enables the viewer to be fully submerged in the emotion of the work .
I’d love to know what you guys think if you get a chance to read the article.
Anyway, back to flicking through past issues.


  1. This article on Ian was one I also particularly enjoyed Joey. Maybe because it seemed that Ian had captured something about the essence of why we keep making - our love of making functional ceramics, as well as our desire to seek that special pot/object amongst many, which hits the mark - maybe it's that special one we put on the shelf?
    I love watching people touch and then hopefully use my work. I do get a little upset when people say, "Oh no! I just want to put it on the shelf and look at it". I love to see people cradle my work in their palms, see it fit right there and enjoy their delight at how easy that feels, then take it home and use it.
    Oh, well, back to the next issue. Layout is underway as we speak - issue 50/3. Ceramics + Narrative is the theme.

  2. Hi Joey,
    Thanks for pointing out that article. I'm not a thrower, I don't usually make functional ware, but I love all the handmade cups and bowls that I own and prefer to use them above all others.
    I'm also very particular about what I use each item for. I have, for instance, one mug I always and only use for coffee, another one for tea. The bowl that we were give at the last conference in Gulgong I chose very carefully and it has now become my favorite bowl for soup (especially in winter). I have a much finer handmade bowl that I like to use for my muesli in the morning. So each object is not just functional, it is related to a specific content as well.
    As I said, I don't make functional ware but I make handbuilt abstract sculptural forms, usually suggestive of the human form with smooth and curved surfaces. People often want to touch and hold them as if they were babies... not unlike the feeling of wanting to cradle a handmade cup or bowl in your hand. People connect with the work on an emotional level... What does it mean to them? It will be different for each person I guess. A couple of months ago someone walked in, spotted one of my new pieces and said: "That is exactly what I feel like right now! Thanks for making that piece." Well, that was a successful moment for me (even though the piece hasn't sold yet). It is doing what I'd like it to do. So sculptural work has a function too...

  3. Hi Maria. I love that you have specific bowls for specific "content"! I think I do that to. But have never really thought about it! Dumb for a potter really. :doh:
    I love it when people tell me about a cup their friend had bought them that they have their morning coffee in every day.