Insight into the Creative Process – Developing a New (to me) Ceramic Form


As my readers know, I love handles. It hasn’t always been this way. But thanks to Gay Smith’s insistence that I pull 18 handles (3 off of 6 cylinders) one afternoon, I now love them.  You have seen my work with handles develop over the last year, and its foundation in my love of Greek pottery. I wasn’t sure where all this playing was going, but a few months ago it came to me, quite by accident.

I had thrown a couple of forms that I intended to make into larger forms of my, for lack of a better name, cracker baskets.  I added two side handles similar to before.  But I wasn’t satisfied with the result. Maybe this didn’t work on a larger scale, I thought.  I covered up the form with plastic and decided to come back to it another day.

Then one night, as I was fading off to sleep – the best time for creative inspiration – it came to me.  Add another handle that connected to two that were already there, and really make it into a basket form.  Here is the result in bisque stage.

Ceramic basketI then tried a variation with the other pot.

Ceramic BasketWhat do you think?

To me, these pots feels like the culmination of three years of work (not that I have hit a peak so quickly). They are thrown on a wheel, without a bottom – my signature mode of making starting about 2 years ago.  The rim is thinned and then rolled over, like I started this last year.  A slab bottom was added and adorned, like I have done for 2 years, but with a pony roller instead of a paddle, as I learned from Aysha Peltz many years ago.  The handles are inspired by my study of Greek pottery, my experimentation over the last year, and a pot of Josh DeWeese’s I saw at a pre-NCECA conference.

Next step will be to make a few more of these and then fire them in my February wood-firing.  I love the boldness, yet sensuality of these pots.  I think they will develop nicely with the kiss of ash.

Last year I was experimenting with a lot of different forms for me.  This year, I am limiting my experimentation and mostly sticking with what I know. This form, however, will make the cut. There is so much to work with here and somehow I think the forms are almost sexy. I will chronicle the development of this series of forms over the coming year.

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About Claytastic

Health coach. Writer. Teacher. Artist. Living an amazing life with MS. Interested in bringing peace and beauty into people's lives.
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4 Responses to Insight into the Creative Process – Developing a New (to me) Ceramic Form

  1. Ali says:

    I really like the second one that is asymmetrical. It has that whimsical look that you seem to do so well with.

  2. Connie says:

    Laurie, Nice progression with your work. Can’t wait to see them fired.

  3. Jacqueline Thompson says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I think the new design of this basket is very interesting. I do see some Josh DeWeese handle influence. He came to Collin College Ceramics dept. in Plano,Tx several years ago. I really dig the first basket. There is definitely a sexy attitude about the form. I do have some feedback about the handle treatment. When I look at the body of the basket and I see the pattern you have created with the rim being cut and flipped over, I think of wide not thin. What if you experimented with a wider somewhat thinner handle and handle attachments that would talk more to the design of the wider bolder design in the rim and carved design of the basket? What I see is contrast between the handle trtmt versus the body of the basket. I think I really see the sensuality of the softer rim and flow of line in the basket form and would love to see that continued in the handle.
    Thanks for posting these pics of the new baskets.

    Jackie

    • Thanks for the feedback Jackie. I tried one experiment with a wider handle, but found it too visually heavy for the piece. But these are definitely a work in progress. I will keep you posted on the developments.

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