Saturday, May 17, 2008

in response to m. kline

michael said: "I hope you will still be able to make a lot of pots there."

upon thinking about this statement i thought that yeah, it shouldn't be a problem. between classtime, office hours and firing kilns it'll be 25-30 hours a week give or take. its been rare that i've been potting without a second job. i've almost always had something else pulling in a small but consistent income to supplement the potting. i'm going to have private studio space and access to the facilities so that i can work there if need be. this is where the problem started. i started thinking about the way that i do things here in my own studio. the reason i work the way i do is because of the limitations that are placed on me(some of them self-imposed.) i have very limited resources, both financially and as a potter. i don't have a clay mixer or various types of kilns or access to unlimited variety of materials and suppliers. forgive me if this sounds snobby or pretentious, i don't mean it that way at all, but i think my work has developed its own strength and integrity by exploiting those limited resources and creating sound work with what i have available. much like the old "peasant" pots from various locales that many of us admire so much. my process is very labor intensive and i would be lying if i said that i enjoyed all of it.

i have this fear that i'm going to fall into the trap of taking the easy way out. the other day i was looking at slides of much of my old work and thinking about what work i could do in the reduction kiln. i haven't done any work like that since college, and while it may be fun to experiment i'm worried that it will replace what i have here because its easier. i don't mean to belittle those who have all these things, not at all. those things are what you have and you have made that work from those facilities your own. i'm worried about sacrificing the integrity of what i do here because its easier to do it at the university, because honestly, i'm not really that genuinely interested in standard reduction firing anymore but i could make myself believe that i am because its less work. i'm very proud of what i do and what i've built here. i feel like i would be cheating on my pots. pshhh...thanks a lot michael(sarcasm.) though i suppose its better to realize these things now than to catch it 4 years down the road. something to think about i guess.

i apologize if this made no sense to you.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Brandon, I think you've got a pretty good grasp on what you want as far as your work goes. Sure it would be easier to do some of that other stuff, but you'd not be satisfied with it and you'd go back to the wood kiln and other ways that you've been used to.

That's not to say it won't be fun to put some pots into a reduction gas firing now and then. I do that at Clayworks where I teach, but I never really have the desire to go back to doing that work (as I once did too).

Good luck with this new endeavor.

I did get your email. No worries. We'll work out all that stuff with shipping etc later.