Thursday, April 26, 2007
Vases and Vessels
Hopefully everyone has had a chance to look at the pictures of my pottery, and probably wondering “what the hec is the difference between a vase and a vessel?” The short answer to the question is that you would put flowers in a vase, but not in a vessel. The long answer is an ongoing debate in the pottery world between craft and art… and I’m not ready to go there! Where I would rather go do is go on about a couple of my favorite pieces (ones that I couldn’t part with)… On the vases page, my absolute favorite is the wood fired vase. It’s small, about 8 inches. The red is a shino glaze, and the green is the ash from the firing, which has turned into glaze. It was fired on its side… the white spots are from where it sat. This pot has memories for me of people and place… doing a wood fire takes about 3 cords of wood (and 3 days of continuous stoking of a kiln). I was fortunate to be able to contribute wood for the cause (this is from when we lived in Auburn, and lived on 3 wooded acres) and not have to stay up all night firing the kiln. One of my favorite vessels is the Raku Girl. Doing Raku firing is another group pyromaniac event. You take the piece while red hot out of a kiln and drop it into a trashcan full of newspapers or some other combustible material, then put the lid on for soldering fire (which results in a reducing atmosphere…you can thank me for not going into the chemistry explanation, but sometime in my life I would like to teach a combined art and chemistry class to high school students!). After 30 minutes or so, you pull it out, rinse it off, and hope you have something cool. Raku Girl is heavy, I suspect I had help because its hard to move something red hot with tongs. Of my newer stuff (and something from my less than pyrotechnic electric kiln), Monkey Face is my favorites. It was one that you really didn’t know how it would look until you were done. In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether you put flowers in the pot or not.