In the summer time, my studio is in this barn (photo credit: Liza Ryan) which I share with my husband and his painting studio. We’ve had a wet cold June, but July is sunny, and today it’s 90 degrees!
In the last year or so, I’ve made more abstract pots….still throwing in sections but, much freer than before. Loosely, they were patterned on Greek pots, but you wouldn’t know that unless I told you. They had great large handles, they had no handles ; they had three sections, they had six sections. I didn’t use glazes, I used slips.
When I started work this summer, I had the urge to throw formal pots again. Ten years ago I fell under the spell of Lucie Rie’s work. One of my teachers, Ken Ferguson, always said, “If you love something, Embrace it…Embrace it, and after a while, you’ll let go”.
As best I could, I did embrace her….I put a photo o of one of her great pots where I could see it as I threw. I tried ever so hard to throw her shapes….I never did, (how could I, she was a genius), but I threw shapes I grew to love. I learned to throw in sections, seeing and throwing shapes by part. I developed the rhythm … four to six pots in a series. It was that which I brought to my more abstract work.
Making vessels is always a conversation for me. When I begin a new series, I often ask, “What am I doing? What do I want to say?” Often as not I don’t know, but I start throwing parts. Always, I find a path; just the next step…then the next, and the piece begins to talk.
I’ve started again, throwing parts, taking risks…firing low and high, using glazes again. It’s summer in the Catskills!