Cutaway Mugs

The past year has been the most exciting season of my life so far. A lot of big changes have been made during this time. Getting married and the big leap of making ceramics my full time job are two big ones. My recent work has also been a source of excitement. I finally feel completely enthused about what I am making; not that my work is perfect or even good at its previous or current stage, but the excitement is completely new. I find myself solving issues and playing with new ideas constantly whether I am in the studio or not. This obsession with the concepts and techniques I am playing around with encourages me to keep going and see where my work will end up, but I know that my work still needs growth. Improvement and adjustments are something I am always looking for and solving issues with my work is a constant endeavor.

The geometric pots I have been making over the past year is a compilation of various techniques and thoughts I have tried over the past decade of making pots. I have always heard that the first pots you make are somehow your most honest. I am now seeing this to be true. The things I tried to do in the first few years were completely unsuccessful and stupid but now with a little knowledge and experience I can make these initial ideas less flawed and with time, I believe they will become even more successful.

The first round of these pots that really grabbed me had a lot of those beginning elements that I first failed with.

 September, 2016

September, 2016

The angled handle, excessive texture, geometric design, and angular foot are all elements I had previously tried but with much less success. 

After firing these pots the main problem that arose was my surface treatment. Before this work I was looking for a lot of glaze movement on my pots. To do this I was double dipping my pots to get color differences based on the pooling and running of the glazes. This treatment only hid the design I was putting in my work. The thickness of the glazes covered up the texture and geometric design I was applying. This in turn pushed me to go to single glazes which still hid most of what I was trying to accomplish. From there I jumped on the terra sigillata train that seems to be a trend right now. The matte finish of terra sig allowed me to use underglaze and washes to emphasize the texture and design instead of cover it up.

 January 2017

January 2017

Figuring out terra sig has been quite the undertaking. It took some time to get a consistently smooth surface and finding the color I want through mason stain or oxide additives will always take time. For the last 6 months I have been working exclusively with terra sig and I am just scratching the surface and becoming comfortable using it. Mixing new colors and adding new underglaze colors allows me to keep exploring the same ideas with varied results like these.

 July 2017

July 2017

The addition of color quickly led to making multicolored pots. Distinct separation between colors seemed necessary for this work because of the hard lines and edges that cover the forms. With this pursuit I found myself breaking away from the symmetrical forms I had been making. These asymmetrical shapes quickly reminded me of cutaway illustrations of mechanical objects. Cutaway illustrations or diagrams allow the viewer to see through a "cutaway" of an otherwise opaque object. The outer layer and the inner layer usually have great differences to show contrast.  

My latest round of mugs and cups come from these explorations. I am trying to convey the cutaway idea by using color and texture contrast while having a literal depth that hopefully demonstrates different and separate layers on these pots. I have also continued experimenting with new sig and underglaze colors. Here is my latest batch of work. I have also added a couple new items to my store. SHOP

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andrew clark