The Best of Sawdust and Dirt
A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!
Filtering by Tag: survey
In the meantime, I've recently been asked by several people to answer surveys/interviews of one sort or another and have been working on them. Although I haven't worked through all of the questions, here is a brief outline.
ON MY PROCESS:
I respond to materials and to the results of the kiln in a cyclical way versus a linear way. Along this spiral I am constantly updating my "versions" whether it be a form or a pattern, or a glaze effect. I guess it's a bit like the chicken and the egg (or which came first) question.
I'm a bit of a reenactor as I approach forms and patterns, looking back at historical precedents. But by some kind of filtration and amalgamation, my unique work emerges. I'm not sure if this is such a unique approach, but it's what I do.
I look at the results of a load of pots after a firing and make notes of the results. I have a massive library of pottery books and look at lots of pictures. I read blogs and see what other potters are doing. I use pots that are different from my own.
I read Studio Potter magazine, as well as Ceramics Monthly. I go to conferences. I talk to other artists. I write a blog that helps me to clarify the ongoing conversation in my head.
It happens more than I would like to admit. One thing I do when I'm not inspired is to just clean up the shop, put things away. Another thing is to try to make something from the cupboard that I have been using or find interesting in some way. Recently I did a series of "covers" that became a really interesting exploration of form, style/voice, and process.
I usually start by session in the shop by making small plates. I fill up my tables and any horizontal surface I can. These plates are relatively easy to make. This act is more of a "jumping into the water versus dipping my toes" way of doing things. But it usually follows a day or two of piddling around the shop, mixing clay, cleaning up, etc. But in this process of preparing the clay, weighing it, throwing it, turning feet, I get myself rolling and other ideas follow.
I wish I had an average day! I guess my ideal day is starting with a cup of black coffee and a survey of my favorite blogs. Sometimes it involves writing a post, myself. But I usually do that late at night after a day's work. Then I head up my hill to the shop and check-in with the previous days work. Sometimes this means immediate action, sometimes it's means covering stuff in plastic and waiting until later to work on. I have a whiteboard that I make notes on and go over. I check off or add things as I think of them. I usually start working by 9 or 9:30 and break for lunch at 1. I work in the afternoon till about supper time at 5:30. Sometimes I will work a little while after supper. As I approach my firing deadline I work late into the night as I always seem to be behind and need to cram to get everything done. Sometimes this is a result of having to do work in the daylight such as cutting kiln wood, or working on the kiln, etc. and I do my pottery (indoor) work in the evening.
After a typical day and evening of work, I check back in with the blogs and download images I have taken with my camera during the day. I make notes of possible topics, but usually I try to put down in pictures first and then reflect on themes that reveal themselves in the pictures. I often see things in the pictures that I missed as I was working. This happens a lot and I'm grateful to be able to review the work in this way. My blog is a great record of what I do as well as a database that I can search. Just like a sketchbook or journal, it holds ideas and images that jar the memory and help me keep threads/ideas alive.