Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inspiration.... where does it come from and where does it go?

When I first started grad school at Utah State back in 1995, I was trying to learn how to throw more loosely. After the first semester it was suggested that simply throwing faster would loosen up my style. So the challenge was to make 1 minute mugs. We're talking centering, pulling, throwing, and cutting the mug off and tossing it onto a board in a minute. Well... after an hour I had about 50. Another hour I maxed out at just over 100 total. Here's an example of one.

The thing I liked about these mugs is how wonky they are. I made NONE of my usual efforts to make a nice clean lip, or to smooth out the foot. Just throw it, toss it aside and go back 3 hours later and jam a handle on it. This is NOT the way I was taught to make pots. But it freed up my eye to be able to see more of the wonkiness in all of my pots. Nancy and Aurora call it woobie (wooby?) Sort of a bastardized version of wabi-sabi. Try explaining wabi-sabi to a classroom full of first graders. Say woobie instead and they all get it. Somedays that makes more sense to me too!

So, looking back more than a decade, this mug was sort of the forerunner of our current line of mugs. It has the loseness, the flowing lines, the casualness... but it also is more raw than most of what we make now. Sure is fun going back and seeing how that circle of making just keeps on coming back around!

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