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.
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.