Sunday, April 29, 2007

Group slides/statement

I strive to capture moments of expression and an eagerness to be used in my utilitarian ceramic work. I envision each piece moments from waking, frozen just before stirring to life and carrying out its intended function. Teapots and mugs tilt in anticipation of pouring or receiving and pitchers reach to deliver their contents, pursuing a sense of generosity and openness. It is the range of interactions a functional pot has, from a precious display to a daily necessity that draws me into my studio. I continually search for ways to merge unique form with practical function, creating work that is a pleasure to touch, see and to use.

My influences often come from things that play a role in my own daily rituals. The defined edges of the radiator in my living room, a sleek band of sliver running through my cell phone, the yellow rusting bridges of my Pittsburgh home and the expressive faucet on my bathroom sink all inspire my work in clay. I blend aspects of everyday routine with human expression to produce objects that we not only use, but also can interact with and visually enjoy.

It is primarily through form that I articulate my interest in animated pots. I employ added coils to emphasize joints, attachments and edges, defining and highlighting those areas that appeal to me. I use these details, along with symmetrical altering, to heighten the human gesture of each piece as well as indicate and inform decorative space. Glaze serves to emphasize detail, accentuate underlying structural decisions and aid in creating a sense of soft touchability.


Mel said...

wow- i'm new to blogging, and i'm not sure how this blog knew my name without writing it. creepy.

anyway, i just read martina's response and it inspired me to finally put thoughts into words. first of all, i agree with martina about the beauty and the beast comment. i think it can be a good thing, or a least showing that your work is as you would like it to be. i do, however, think that how you glaze the pots could totally change that reaction. (it doesn't seem like you like it) :)

i don't know how you have been glazing, but i picture these pots fired in a salt kiln. some parts would have a glassy, drippy glaze, and others would be bare clay in the salt. i feel like having two different textures would accent the layering that you are doing with the coils and what looks like cut slabs. i also picture something else, like maybe stamping in patterns, on the lower layers. so, for example, in #2, those big open circles on the body would have a pattern on them (maybe even painted?), that would emphasize round, belly-ness of the pots. the next layer, covered in glass, would be like the clothes, and the belly would peek out from underneath. is this at all how you have been treating them? just a suggestion, as i know you are frustrated with that part.

also, i would definitely concur about line variation within things like coils and handles. where it happens, the pots are much more expressive. just looking at #5 and #6, the handles in both very much make the pots. the first pot, to me, is much more interesting, while i'm not sure if the second is going to tip over from the weight of what looks like a solid, dead, handle. if the thickness was varied, it would give life and lightness, and the sense that the pot is capable of holding itself up.

i really liked reading about your influences- great specific examples. i wish i had that clear of an idea. i thought your statement read very well, but honestly don't know what they are "supposed to" be like.

hope that helped!

Megan Mitchell said...

Kip --
Thanks for being the first to post! It's great to see more of your work and to read your thoughts.

A few thoughts:

Glazing: like Mel, I'm highly in favor of a salt/ soda option for these pots. I also would be inclined to treat them the way I would paint a house -- a main color and then a 'trim color' for the coils etc. I would probably pick colors that are similar -- a lighter and darker green for example -- though contrast might be interesting too.

Beauty and the Beast: That isn't really the read that I get from them, though as Martina said, your statement does encourage that interpretation. There is an element that I find cartoonish, however, which is the knobs. Those big poofy knobs some cases I think they detract and distract some from the rest of the pot. They are a bit like a ponytail, and a bit like an exclamation point. I'm not sure what I would do instead, but I would be curious to know what they would look like with a more subtle knob.

I also am very curious to know how those downturned spouts will pour once they are fired. My immediate reaction is that they will drip.

My favorites are #1, #3 and the bottom two (aside from concerns about the spouts and knobs). I really like the gesture of the top and bottom teapots, and am very excited about the circle on #3.

I would love to see cups or bowls that incorporate the buttons and a simple addition of a coil around the handle or near the rim. I can see where it would be harder to figure out where exactly to incorporate these embellishments...have you tried sketching?

Overall -- I think you are going in a great direction, and encourage you to keep pushing yourself with new forms. (and finishing the pots). How would you apply some of these ideas to larger forms?