Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 21 Issue 99 - Winter/Spring 2015 - Page 20

Perspectives I As Far As I Know What’s So Special About Pottery? (continued from previous page) fascination with clay and with the processes that we use to form it. The materiality of fired ceramic is also of great interest to most potters. Together, these twin fascinations play an important role in what we make, and the qualities that we enjoy seeing in fired work. While a strong interest in the richness of process and materials is undergoing a resurgence in a number of disciplines (especially painting and photography), it has always played a part in the life of pottery. It’s ok for potters to love clay and want to explore the potential of the material. However, we should also be willing to step back at times to discuss what we’re achieving with our explorations, and not be blinded by the sheer beauty of the materials we can create. JH Chrysalline Glaze Kilns Quad Elements K25 Brick Type S thermocouples Extra power This list could go on for a lot longer, and each of the items I’ve mentioned deserves to be discussed in much more detail. My goal here is simply to provide a brief and incomplete list of things that potters should be aware of when thinking about (and evaluating) their pots. Besides that, I would be failing as a teacher of ceramics if a student could leave my beginning course believing that the most important thing they learned is that you can make things by coiling, pinching, and building with slabs. Sometimes we get so tied into the practical aspects of our field, we forget to mention the really important things ... and we won’t know what the important things are unless we periodically step back and think about it. What else would you add to this list? [ Footnote: CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 Toll Free: 888.684.3232 Swedesboro, NJ 08085 L&L Kiln’s patented hard ceramic element holders protect your kiln. 1. “Spending Time on Art” by Jeffrey K. Smith and Lisa F. Smith, Empirical Studies of the Arts, Volume 19, Number 2 / 2001. Pages 229-236 Peter Pinnell is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. E-mail him at ppinnell1@unl.edu or contact him via his Facebook page at www.facebook.com. 20 Perspectives I As Far As I Know What’s So Special About Pottery? (continued from previous page) fascination with clay and with the processes that we use to form it. The materiality of fired ceramic is also of great interest to most potters. Together, these twin fascinations play an important role in what we make, and the qualities that we enjoy seeing in fired work. While a strong interest in the richness of process and materials is undergoing a resurgence in a number of disciplines (especially painting and photography), it has always played a part in the life of pottery. It’s ok for potters to love clay and want to explore the potential of the material. However, we should also be willing to step back at times to discuss what we’re achieving with our explorations, and not be blinded by the sheer beauty of the materials we can create. JH Chrysalline Glaze Kilns Quad Elements This list could go on for a lot longer, and each of the items I’ve mentioned deserves to be discussed in much more detail. My goal here is simply to provide a brief and incomplete list of things that potters should be aware of when thinking about (and evaluating) their pots. Besides that, I would be failing as a teacher of ceramics if a student could leave my beginning course believing that the most important thing they learned is that you can make things by coiling, pinching, and building with slabs. Sometimes we get so tied into the practical aspects of our field, we forget to mention the really important things ... and we won’t know what the important things are unless we periodically step back and think about it. K25 Brick Type S thermocouples Extra power What else would you add to this list? [ CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 Footnote: 20 1. “Spending Time on Art” by Jeffrey K. Smith and Lisa F. Smith, Empirical Studies of the Arts, Volume 19, Number 2 / 2001. Pages 229-236 L&L Kiln’s patented hard ceramic Toll Free: 888.684.3232 Swedesboro, NJ 08085 element holders protect your kiln. Peter Pinnell is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. E-mail him at ppinnell1@unl.edu or contact him via his Facebook page at www.facebook.com.