As we all know, there are a lot of people who use pottery, but there is a relatively small group of those who use handmade pottery. These are the folks who really understand the value of the handmade object in their everyday lives. As it happens, the most dedicated of those people are often potters themselves.It’s hard to explain the value of the handmade to those who just don’t “get it,” which can really bum me out sometimes. But when I have a “geez, why do I bother?” moment, the best remedy seems to be to get back into the studio and check in with other makers like myself.
Of course, if you don’t have a community of ceramic artists handy to check in with, you can always check in on Ceramic Arts Daily. And if you enjoy hearing the perspectives of other makers, you’ll really enjoy our latest free gift
Contemporary Functional Pottery: A Discussion of Handmade Pottery by 11 Working Potters. Below is an excerpt from it in which Tina Gebhart talks teapots. Enjoy! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Professionally, I make teapots because they embrace the complexity
Personally, I am interested in the teapot form because it
The minimum qualities for the teapot format are: appropriate
This article was excerpted from Contemporary Functional Pottery: A Discussion of Handmade Pottery by 11 Working Potters, which is free to Ceramic Arts Daily subscribers.
|I can imagine a teapot that was utility-effective and visually
cohesive, yet bored me to tears and I would never ever want to use. The
pot must be compelling on some level, either by visual content (in a
Modernist sense), emotional-material content (in an Expressionist
sense), narrative content (in, well, a narrative sense), and cognitive
content (in a Postmodern sense). Work that focuses on one of these
categories still benefits greatly from the presence of at least some
amount of the others. The visual may be the initial powerhouse,
otherwise the viewer may never access the other intended content
layers; yet it also requires some amount of the others or the viewer
may never linger. If the layers are never uncovered, do they actually
exist? Entice. Deliver. Allow space for rumination.
There is not a perfect handle, or spout, or any part. All things
The pot isn’t fully alive when at rest, yet it must also be enjoyed
I consider the ceremony and ritual of others before and after making
When I make, I am fully with that pot, that group of pots. Nothing
I think of marketing strategies as design strategies. In this case,
I believe that good sales mechanics can probably sell just about
I have a Prada backpack that is a hand-me-down. I would have never
For professional studio making; if it’s not good, don’t keep making
For learning-focused making, we have to go through a few tons of
I propose that function isn’t; function does. It is defined by its
In a world of fast, instantaneous change of state and engagement—in
To learn more about Tina Gebhart and see more images of her work, visit www.tinagebhart.com