Blue Dinnerware with Leaves

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Dinnerware | 0 comments

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New Dinnerware

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Dinnerware | 0 comments


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Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Dinnerware | 0 comments

I’m on vacation!  Well, sort of – I still have to work at my day job; but, my pottery partner is gone for a week and I am on hiatus from the art center; so it feels like a vacation. With all this vacationing, things have been slow in the studio (although, I did trim a bowl tonight).  However, things in the kitchen are heating up.  I have been cooking and experimenting.  This morning I made a shrimp-stuffed omelet and tonight I am working on a version of cajun sausage and rice (for Jeff).  I’ve noticed that when I am working on a lot of ideas and pots in the studio, I often struggle to come up with a menu.  But, now, while I am  feeling uninspired in the studio the creativity has kicked up in the kitchen.  I wonder if creativity in the studio and kitchen can both...

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Eva Zeisel

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Dinnerware, Philosophy, Pottery | 0 comments

This week is the last week of classes in the Winter Session at the art center where I teach.  The focus of our session was “Production Pottery” in which we made dinnerware pieces.  As I was preparing for our last class, I began to think about Eva Zeisel, a renowned potter whose dinnerware was made available through industrial reproduction. Eva Zeisel died on December 30, 2011; and the ceramics world collectively grieved.  I read several articles about her shortly after she passed away.  She is known in for her beautiful dinnerware – clean, modern, organic, and elegant.  It was cast and reproduced for mass market by several ceramic industries. One of the articles celebrating her life (Zeisel) was reprinted in our local newspaper.  Although the author, Lance Esplund, had met Zeisel, he claimed that he mostly knew Zeisel through her work.  Esplund said to sit down to a table ‘enlivened’ by her dinnerware was “not to simply dine but to engage with art”… amazing praise for a potter. There were so many interesting things about this potter – her imprisonment, a long and successful career in ceramics, and her legacy of pots.  She made what she loved or re-worked others’ designs all in her “playful search for beauty”.  So as this brief session on dinnerware concludes, I am inspired by Eva Zeisel’s  endowment to modern...

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Production Pottery – Storage

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 in Class, Dinnerware, How-to, Multiples | 0 comments

When making functional pottery it is vital that the pots perform their role well; but, when making dinnerware sets, it is also necessary to consider how those pots function when they are NOT in use.  So once you have acquired the skills to make similar pots the same size (challenge no. 1) and once you have developed a conceptual resolution to make dissimilar pots relate (challenge no. 2), you must also consider the pot’s non-function (i.e. storage).  Because many pots comprise a dinnerware set, storage becomes an issue for the owners. Consider how the pots will stack in the cupboard or dishwasher.  You may prefer a cereal bowl to be low and wide; and, you may prefer soup bowls to curve inward so the soup will stay warm longer.  The result is the cereal bowls stack more compactly than the soup bowls.   Either way, functional choices should be made with full recognition of the consequences on how well a pot performs when it is not in...

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Production Pottery – Challenge #2

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Class, Dinnerware, How-to, Multiples | 0 comments

“Technical ability grows naturally with experience, but conceptual rigor needs constant attention and exploration.”  Sean O’Connell Although not all potters aspire to be production potters, all potters will benefit from the skills required to make dinnerware.  Potters who can make multiple pots similar in form and size are efficient throwers and have the technical skills to accomplish any sort of pot.  And, potters who can develop a unified dinnerware set are effective in creatively relating one pot to another. Essentially, there are two basic to making dinnerware sets: Similar pieces must be similar Dissimilar pieces must relate to one another No. 2:  Dissimilar pieces must relate to one another – the dinner plate and the chili bowl must look like they belong to the same series.  Although there are some technical considerations, this challenge is mainly conceptual.  How do you go about creating a family of pots? Here are some tips that can help achieve this: Use the same clay for the entire family of pots Glaze the family of pots in the same glaze(s) – this is the easiest way to make diverse pots relate; color unifies and mutes differences Glaze the family of pots at the same time Fire glazed pots in the same kiln firing Make structural marks when throwing Add texture – carving or slip on all pots Use wax resist to make similar patterns on the pots Use the same rim treatment on all pots – cut/wavy/split/squared Keep shapes similar – organic/geometric/chunky/elegant Making a dinnerware set requires getting plates and bowls and tumblers to associate with one another.  Ask yourself how you can make the pieces relate to one another.  Give your pots something to make them look like they are a family.  This is a huge challenge and one that you may enjoy resolving over and over...

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