So I made the decision that it was crucial to like the pots I was making.

Michael Simon - teapot 1999

I’ve just been digging into that excellent article in the Studio Potter that I referenced the other day.  As I don’t believe Michael’s importance to the field of American Studio Pottery can be overstated – i’ll quote him at legnth:

So I made the decision that it was crucial to like the pots I was making.  I just had to step back and make them, even though they didn’t fit into the way I thought I should work, which was with a potter’s economy, like Warren and I imagine, the Korean folk potters had worked: your experience and your confidence and your directness make the surface and the shape dynamic, and you have the pot right there.  It’s kind of built in, joined together; it’s beautiful.

I just determined that I was going to make them look the way I wanted them to look before they went in the kiln.  I wasn’t going to fire things that I didn’t believe in.  I just had to have a bottom line, some place that I could work toward; I had to make that a real thing for myself.  It meant that I had to spend more time on the pots.

~pg 69 the Studio Potter June 2oo6 Volume 34 #2

This sense of commitment to finding ones own voice in the material so wonderfully expresses the challenge I am working thru right now in my own studio.  While many of my teachers voices continue to wisper in my ear as I work – I am finding, more and more, that the voice that leads me to make my decisions is coming from someplace deep within – right or wrong.

I’ve just been prepping some bisque and giving myself the entirety of the weekend to glaze (while finalizing a grad school app:().  It’s nice to find more clay in my pots these days – and more clay in the right places.  The insides of the pots are beginning to speak with more clarity and self possession.  Still working inside my elemental glaze palette – I’m pretty excited about the ideas moving forward w/ process and the slip underpaintings that my glazes will get to work atop.  I also treated myself to some supurb Japanese incense which makes blogging that much more enjoyable.

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3 Responses to “So I made the decision that it was crucial to like the pots I was making.”


  1. 1 kyle carpenter January 30, 2010 at 7:33 am

    nice post.
    someone once said to me, “you’re decorating that mug as if it were a vase.” It seemed he thought the mug wasn’t worth all of that time. I told him, “It’s what I do.”
    Good luck with grad school apps. I’ll be watchin’ for the fired pots to show up on the blog.

  2. 2 Judy Shreve January 30, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I’m liking the pots you are making these days! Your work is fabulous & I’m sure you’ll get a nod to get into the grad program you want.

    I live near Athens & have heard Michael Simon say, that as soon as he discovered how to paint on a round canvas everything ‘clicked’ for him. His work is so stunning & you can just tell he loved the pots he was making.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention So I made the decision that it was crucial to like the pots I was making. « Steven Colby: potter -- Topsy.com Trackback on January 31, 2010 at 11:09 pm

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Detail from Pitcher - 9.o9

lunch plate ; circa 2oo9

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