Turning bottles the other day, swapping from one tool to another (and then another and another, as is my way when I turn) I got to thinking about my relationship with certain objects in my studio.
I am a maker and admirer of objects, yet I place value in keeping consumption to a minimum. I am desirous of things, but once I own something I want it to be used often, appreciated widely and last forever. If I fall victim to a misguided whim, and find myself in possession of a 'what was I thinking' object, then I like to spend time finding it a more appreciative home.
I digress. Back to tools. It may sound cliche, but the objects I reach for intuitively as I create do become an extension of my body and thoughts. They are mostly old, warn and not particularly pretty and are so familiar that I often don't notice that I have picked one up. It's when I don't immediately find what I need that I really appreciate it's importance and it's upsetting when something goes missing for good.
No one likes to admit to placing importance in objects. But when you recognise in them a means of personal expression their importance becomes somewhat raised.
So I'm in a mood to pay tribute to those objects in my studio to which I feel indebted. For the next few posts (or more - I'll see how I go) I intend to provide a snapshot of an object or two that stays near to my heart and hands and perhaps a brief description of its personal value. Folly perhaps, I wouldn't run back in to a burning building to save them, but these 'things' form part of my daily existence and therefore deserve some recognition. So to begin...
I admit to owning more but these are my regulars. I like these 'baby' turning tools for porcelain as they are less likely to tear the clay and stay sharp. Although they do wear through quickly. I use an assortment of metal kidneys during throwing and turning, sometimes using the edge to remove clay but also laying a kidney flat against a rotating form, playing with the slip to create a smooth surface. And a metal arrowhead for an ever so slightly undercut base to give an object a little lift and encourage it to cast a subtle shadow.