Thursday, March 31, 2011

I still wedge too

A friend has pointed me in the direction of John Britt's videos and I plan to watch more as soon as I get time. This one is great. Informative, relevant (well.. to those of us that like to reclaim porcelain) and  it carries a subtle message too.

I really like the bumper sticker. It says a lot. 

Conversations about 'process' have arisen recently and the term 'labour intensive' seems to crop up when I describe and consider my own creative processes. I'm actually ok with this. In fact, strange as it may sound, it is the way I prefer things. There are reasons for choosing a traditional craft technique over modern production methods and it's fairly reasonable to assume none of them are economic!

I guess it's a little like the slow food movement. I enjoy spending time with my materials and prefer it when there are less gadgets and machines between them and me. I'm no purist mind, I like my wheel with power and my clay comes in a bag. I imagine each craftsperson draws their own line in regard to technology and machinery and maybe that line changes with financial changes. But, for the most part, I'm happiest with fairly low-tech processes. 

So when I am asked, yet again, why I don't have a pug mill the answer, for the time being, remains the same - No I wouldn't say I'm a purist... maybe I am a little old fashioned... but yes, I still wedge.


Kelly Kessler said...

Thanks for posting this, Sophie. I like that bumper sticker, too, and I like your distinction (hopefully not splitting hairs) between being a purist and being willing to wedge. That chunk of time at the wedging table gets the clay just so and my mind in the right frame to meet it on the wheel.

I come from a family of slam-dunk cooks, and I remember being mystified when my grandma started buying biscuit mix. Really? Is it that hard to mix 5 ingredients? Of course, it's not actually mine to judge why she did that, but for my household I make a different trade-off: the texture and tooth of handmade biscuits, or not biscuits at all, depending on my inclination and spare time for clean-up.

If I'm not noticing the texture and the tooth of the clay before I throw it (by wedging), what else am I missing in these pots that I want to be as full of life as possible?

Shannon Garson said...

I wedge too! I think it gives me a feel for the clay as a lead in to the more creative process of throwing. I also don't like my studio (or house for that matter) to be full of noisy machines.