Making Good Pots

I went down to the shed to sort out the salt glazed pots yesterday. Looking over some of the bowls and mugs and dishes I realized that this wasn't my best work ever. I felt like some of the bowls were too thin and small, the slip had been drippy when I applied it to the pots and it ended up showing on most everything in not so good a way. The pots were okay, passable, first quality, but not up to where I wanted them to be in my mind. Maybe some just felt a bit sloppy. Lack of attention to detail. Things only I would notice. Well....

I had such good fun making pots at All Fired Up the other night. I was making these loose, funky, not so generic pots. A couple years ago I was at a workshop with Peter Rose, a potter from Tennessee. Peter is a neat guy, he's been around, he's studied in Japan and other places. He knows stuff. He told me some of the pots I was making were fairly predictable, 'generic' was the word we agreed upon. He pointed out some of my pots had a nice gesture, a loose quality, nice strong throwing marks, confident. He said, Do more of that. That's what you are good at. Why make those generic pots?

"Be confident, take risks, be yourself." That was sort of the internal message I took away.
I don't always put it into play. But I did Sat. night. And I'm going to try to do so this week when I am in the studio. I'm sure what I have in my head is farther along than what I can do on the wheel, but I must start and see where it goes.

I already feel my earthenware has come a ways since those first dishes with the fish and chickens. I feel like I'm struggling with finding my voice and way of decoration. But it's okay, I can see it will happen if I keep trying, playing, sketching, searching. Asking.."What if? What if? What if?" So I'll do that. I'm gonna try and not be too judgmental.

Doug and I have talked about our ups and downs. It's something we all struggle with, or all of us who really care about what we are making. I know my pal Tom has often heard my worries and woes and has encouraged me along. Paul is having a battle right now. Clary Illian told me once that all of that is 'part of being a potter.' She's right. So it's good to know we are all in this thing together and we are striving to do our best.

So I guess I'll go out to the studio on this very rainy Monday and see what the clay can teach me.
Hope everyone can make some pots today.