Another great short film from Goldmark Gallery! Well Done. Anne Mette Hjortshøj – Paying Honest Attention is so inspiring. These films all have such a great vibe about them. I watch them over and over and then go make pots. They calm me down and lift me up all at the same time. They give me something to aim for and affirm that I am on the right path. I feel an earthy connection to the potters featured in these intimate glimpses. I want to be this kind of potter making pots fired in a wood kiln, living this kind of life in the country, growing organic food, working outside in open space collecting materials locally to use in or on my pots, living a life inspired.
I love the look of Anne Mette’s pots. The fluid nature of the clay in the lugs for the handles of her teapots, for example, look as if the clay is still soft and the handle has lifted it up in the center. The colors and patterns are fantastic. I like how she makes and uses stamps for adding patterns of texture for the glaze to run over or collect in or break over and edge. After seeing her beautiful pots and then watching the video it came as no surprise to me that she fires with wood. Most of my favorite potters fire with wood. There is nothing better in my opinion than a wood fired pot. There is so much going on with color and surface from the flames and ash and salt. You can look at a wood fired pot a hundred times and see something new each time.
I love the way Anne Mette talks about making pots and the process of learning with Phil Rogers. It’s very clear she holds him in the highest regard. He is one of my favorite potters and an opportunity to learn and work with him would be a dream come true. I really enjoyed reading his book called Throwing Pots back when I started my clay journey.
So check out the film and the links and let me know what you feel.
I’ve added Goodreads on the bottom right so I can share what books I have read or want to read. If you have read some great pottery books please recommend them to me.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
drying out clay in the winter sunshine
Emerging artist. emerging artist? emergency artist? emerging from what? from where? What is an emerging artist? I guess it means becoming known on the scene. I like this idea of always beginning. Each pot is a new beginning, each session of kneading is a new beginning, and each washing up.
A beginner is always searching and learning something new by doing it. Theory can get your mind going but really, doing it is where the learning begins. There are so many forms I want to make. It is endless. I want to make and sell pots that people can buy and use. I’m more attracted to green than blue, more to red and brown than purple, orange and black to me are better than pastel anything. I like creamy milky satiny white and yellows. I like transparent jade greens and deep translucent emeralds more than muted olive green. I like browns. I like reds that are warm and irony more than reds with blue. I want to make pots that look as if they just took a breath of fresh life, and glaze them in such a way that maintains fluidity like water.
Ok so I am emerging. I am emerging from an old tired career that was suppose to be a means to an end and somehow has become what I do and have done for far too long. When you do something for so long it gets routine and boring. It is not the beginner’s experience. I want very much to start fresh like a spring flower and bloom in the sunshine of newness and learning. An experience of trying something new every day is invigorating and challenging, encouraging me to resist judgment and frustration with a gentle intention of freedom, forgiveness and fun. If it is not fun why do it. Warren Mackenzie says that making pots ought to be fun. I’m with him. I want to have fun and enjoy what I do. It will not be easy and it will be a long road. The road is long anyway so making pots has just as much of a chance for me than anything else. More of a chance because I love doing it. I’ve been there and done that, and there and that don’t appeal to me anymore. I want here and this instead. ooh I like! Been there done that, now I want to be here and do this.
I made a little piece of music the other night on my computer and found myself enjoying the first 20 minutes and then it became something else. Something I did not enjoy, something that was trying to be something it was not. It became a searching and sifting through process instead of a creating one. My process of songwriting used to be free and flowing until I involved a computer and production. Even when it sounds cool or hip or funky etc. it sounds like everything else. When I used to just sing to write the song, it was more real and unique and more human and less machine. I think making pots needs to be this way as well, fast and free. To spend too much time on a single pot can take all the life out of it. I want to always improve my throwing skills so I can let it all go and just make pots, like an actor rehearses lines, memorizes blocking, studies the scene and then lets it all go for the performance trusting that the work has been done. It is like that with making pots. Learn technique first and then let it go to be free and trust that the time spent on the basics will always be there for me to tap into.
This winter sunshine is a gift. It’s helping to dry out my clay chunks so I can slake them down. It’s keeping my glazes from freezing and feels good on my face. I’m filled with gratitude for everything that has led me to this moment. All the ups and downs are part of the journey and this moment is where I want to be doing this.
Be here do this.
Cameron Sharp Pottery first 3 teapots
I just uploaded a photo of my first three teapots. I have been wanting to make some for a while so this is awesome for me. All three are different. The first has a deep lid that fits in a gallery with lugs for a cane or wood handle, the second has the lid fitting over a lip with a pulled handle, and the third was inspired by one that Simon Leach made in one of his videos. It’s for green tea and has no lid with a handle on the side. I’ll be doing some videos where I talk about the process of making and critiquing my work, so look for those in the future on my YouTube channel at Cameron Sharp Pottery. I think it is important to be able to do that and decide what worked and what did not or what I like or don’t like to learn what can be done next time. For example the 3rd teapot has a spout and handle that are too long for practical use. I think a shorter handle would give more leverage lifting a pot full of tea and the spout could be made to the same length as the handle for balance both physically and aesthetically. And it would take up much less space on the counter or in the cupboard.
Thanks for visiting.
I want to surf again. I want to get new contact lenses so I can see the waves coming. I want to heal my back and shoulders so I can paddle out and have fun in the waves with my boy and teach him to surf. I want to noseride, hang 5, cross step, drop knee turn, and do long sweeping bottom turns on chest to head high waves. I want to make videos with a GoPro mounted to my board. Mostly I want to heal and enjoy the moments in the water and sunshine and have some fun.
I really need to get back in the ocean for my own sanity and the well being of my soul. When I’m out there the mental chatter stops, the stress melts away, the moment expands and the rise and fall of each swell brings with it endless possibilities. Simply floating on my board soaking in all the energy and beauty of the ocean is so relaxing and rejuvenating. Catching waves is another level entirely. To position myself in the peak spot, to turn around and paddle early and hard enough to match the speed of the wave, then to pop to my feet just before it breaks hoping my feet land in the right place on my board, off I go, zooming down the face harnessing the momentum into a long sweeping bottom turn, carrying all that force right up the wall of water as I take two quick steps closer to the nose, settling down the back of the board is covered with water, the rail is locked and I am cruising down the line. Going so fast I outrun the wave, I take two steps back and dig my toe in as I drop my knee for a big cutback to get back in position. I smack off the white water and head for the nose again this time with four little steps placing my front foot out for a cheater five. Bliss! Thrill! Surfing! Wipeout! Hoot and holler I paddle back out smiling as big as my face will allow. Yeah, I need to get back in the water.
So how does this relate to pottery making? For me pottery making is a healing journey. Physically, mentally, emotionally it has helped me feel whole again and soothed some of my injuries. It’s taught me patience, forgiveness, and allowed me to begin again and again. I learn how to be centered and present so I can center clay on the wheel. It has taught me to let go of what just happened or what is coming up and to be focused in the moment. If I rush it or push too hard the pot does not make it. I need to be sensitive to the clay and what is happening under my fingers in such a nuanced and subtle way. Every slight pressure or pinch causes a reaction in the clay. Long board surfing is similar in that every slight lean or foot pressure or adjustment in balance can take you further down the wave or send you flying off your board. Both activities invite me to be whole and aware. In one I make or lose a pot, in the other I make or lose the wave. Both journeys are beautiful and humbling. Both journeys require focus and being centered, both allow another chance to begin again being open to learning from this moment.
There is always another wave and there is always another pot.