Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kip Round Two

Okay Ladies... Here we go on our next round of images -- exciting! The first five pots you see here are from the workshop at AR with Matt Long, all soda fired. I'd like to hear what y'all think about the finished look of the teapots...

The last two images are a butter dish I just finished and (surprise, surprise) have not yet glazed. It is cone 04 clay with white slip... any ideas on this one would be great. I am envisioning the soda fired oil lamp going in the lowfire direction with drawings. I've been thinking about the Omnivore's Delimma a lot lately, and it seems to be affecting my work quite a bit... I have some definite ideas I'm trying to convey in this last piece, but I'm certainly still working out how it all comes together. Oh, and I'm a little worried about the cutsy factor, what do you all think??

No artist statement this time around... I'm still working out these ideas...


critial ceramics said...

martina here,

so kippie, great photos. basement?

I think you need to embrace the 'cute' factor of your work. We discussed it a little with your last post. i think work can have life and be light-hearted and still convey a serious message, as in the butter dish.
i think of the first time i 'got' a Miro painting. it was in the title that i saw what the painting was meant to convey and it made me smile. it was something along the lines of a girl playing at a carnival. suddenly i saw her pigtails and the ferris wheel and i enjoyed the painting all the more. it's humor portrayed in a challenging and, at the time, new format.

Your work is a challenging idea portrayed in a traditional medium with a sense of play.

As for the work itself. i looked at the group of 4 tumblers a few times, passing by on my way to another pot and finally paused and saw really clearly the 'kip aesthetic line and growth' in it. from the really slippy tumblers of whitefish to the mugs you gave me from seattle with the movement of the slip actually in the structure of the piece to this real understated gesture. I think it is really pleasant but also a different train of thought from the teapots and now the earthenware.

the soda results are intriguing in what it chose to highlight. i think it does work on these pieces, it quiets them and softens them in a good way. some vibrancy may be achieved though through color on the coil bands or other key parts to make them pop.

the single teacup reads better in the photo than the one holding three. i like it's gesture and the implied movement away form the teapot. interesting dialog.

The genie lamp seems to be missing the details and gesture of the teapots while they seem to be coming from the same family. in contrast, it speaks more of elegance than the other handled/spouted pots.

now to the butter dish. i think the message is really clear and very well presented. in the decoration, what about the top? the edge of the plate could do something interesting (top photo) with the way the cows heads are peering over it. i see color and terra sig in parts. have fun on the earthenware adventure of glazing.

nice post, a little from before and some new.

good job

critial ceramics said...

Megan reporting...

Commenting here is SUCH a good alternative to packing all my belongings.

It's nice to see some glazed pots! I like the soda on them, especially the yellow on the teapot with solo cup. I have to say I'm EXTREMELY curious how those spouts pour, and how the cups feel to drink out of. Will you please have a few tea parties and let me know? Also a report on how the handles work out would be good. If you would like, you could send one to me so I could test it out. :)

A few comments on some specific pieces: the tumblers are all very nice but don't speak to me of any particular direction; or they are exploring different things than the rest of the work from your last post. The oil lamp?? I think it's a gravy boat. But I like it a lot; currently it's my favorite piece. It is expressive and fluid without having to speak as loudly as the teapots; more quiet but still very striking. I especially like the tail, and the details on the lid. I'd love to see more variations on the form.

The cows -- it is a big departure from what you have been working on. It might be a good idea to have some quality self-reflection about what you want your work to be and what directions are worth exploring. That said, I am all for experimenting and trying what you want -- I just know from my own experience that going down too many roads can lead you nowhere....gosh that sounds dire but I think you can get my drift.
Here at work I am an 'earthenware with white slip' gal, as I think you know. I haven't ever really done my own work with it, but have definitely thought about the carving through white slip idea. I've always been a little stumped on how I would glaze it, though. One problem is that our glaze doesn't look very good over the bare clay -- not a great brown. Also, adding color in between the carving gives it a bit of a paint-by-numbers feel. Those obstacles have prevented me from ever trying to find solutions; though I do really like the look of the carved slip and it is a good way to put imagery on a piece. But I say, play around with it for a while and see what happens! Maybe making some less detailed pieces would help you do more experimenting.

ok I really should go pack. see you soon!

Scott Minugh said...

Hello ladies,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Scott Minugh, I live in the Seattle area, and have been potting for about six years. I met Kip last month at Anderson Ranch in the Matt Long workshop. She told me about your site and suggested I should put in my 2 cents worth.

I really like the Teapots and cups. For me the animation and personallity really come thru. As I recall the teapots poured well. If they didn't I still wouldn't change them to a more conventional or traditional spout. I feel too much would be lost. If fliuds will pass thru them, then they work for me.

On the set of four tumblers I like the overall form, but the tumbler on the left, the spiral line bothers me the way it flattens out at the top. I like the other three. I like the way the line contines up evenly on the center two, or the more whimsical one on the right (my favorite). I think the tenmoku in soda is a great glaze for these tumblers.

Ah, now the Genie Lamp. I love this pot, but don't think the soda did it justice. Dont get me wrong I really like it, but think it could be outstanding in lowfire with brighter colors and decoration. I see it looking like there's a genie living in it, full of fun and mischief.

The butter dish. I now understand the message being presented. I dont feel you need to worry about the "cutesy factor". Like Martina, I feel the top is missing something. Possily mimicking the decoration inside the dish that would be covered by a cube of butter. But maybe not, you might want to leave something to be discovered upon closer inspection. In my eye the top is begging to be a part of the message.

The pictures look really good. you've inspired me to setup a light box and start getting some images together.

Nice to meet all of you, Scott

Kip said...

Hey, thanks for posting, Scott! I just got back from a great trip out to B-more to visit Megan and Martina. It was good to talk in person about these blog postings and to see and touch some new Martina work! I'm definitely excited to continue on my low fire adventure now that I have some new and exciting glazes (and clays) to test (thanks again, Martina!) I'll keep everyone posted on how things progress... Thanks again for the comments!

critial ceramics said...

thoughts from MONIca, (i wish i could do this in the bathtub or while driving, best thinking time, unless I have my studded tires on which makes the whole car way to noisy) I say this knowing I may have been decieved by the photo angle but, the teacups look as if they may be tippy. if hot water was pouring fast from the teapot would they tip? or the foot ring may be plenty big preventing tipping? Lately I have been on real rant about functionality (new word)it has become the the first thing I look for, but also it often prevents me from making things I think may not function and just get caught up in the arguement instead of making the work. The yellow on the teapot looks very luminous which i love and i feel it enhances the movement giving me a floaty feeling.very soft. I am not sure about the oil lamp. I am really sorry to not have a great reason/comment on why but it just does't work for me. the reason is escaping me, just to different from the rest, no flow, sharp, not volumious(new word)? i am not sure. wow, the butter dish, first why terra cotta? I would like to see it very dry other then where the butter rest. i like that terra cotta can be bring such a response to your finger tips from its dry rough surface and surpise you with waterlike smooth colors else where. i like the cow drawings and how they seem to peek at me

critial ceramics said...

Some thoughts from Megan regarding functionality --

Just today I was pondering the commercially made mugs at my uncles house. In many ways, these mugs make for a very functional drinking experience; while the handles lack a little in comfort, they are honestly more comfortable than many handmade handles. However, I would much prefer using a handmade mug. I wonder how high to rank functionality as a factor in the making process. Maybe it is OK if something drips a little or feels a little awkward, as long as it is expressive, or interesting or passionate. There are so many very functional things about our lives. On the other hand, there is something truly divine about using a handmade object that is comfortable or pleasing to use. In many ways I think it is each individual artists decision, where functionality ranks in the importance of the life of the piece.

mel said...


here i am, late as always, but usually due to something fun. :)

ok, so here's what i'm thinking. i first looked at your images a couple of days ago, and have been trying to figure out exactly what to say about them. please let me know if this is unclear or doesn't come out right- i'm pretty sure it will be different from other comments, and perhaps less comprehensible.

i really like the oil lamp. i'm not even sure i like the idea of an oil lamp, or if it is symbolic in some way i'm not understanding. but i like the form. you've managed to put the jaunty thing into it in ways that are somehow less predictable than the teapots. from the left to the right, all lines flow towards the spout, which is well balanced by the larger handle form and the tip in the knob back towards it. its keeps your eye moving in a circle around the form. i also like the subtle indentations on the foot and the lid- a sweet touch that somehow completes the pot. after seeing the oil lamp, its easier for me to discern what has been bothering me about the teapots the whole time. the teapots are cool because they are off center and leaning, but to me, next to the oil lamp, seem a little contrived. like you're trying too hard to make them dance, which perhaps leads to the cartoony feeling and beauty and the beast comments. don't get me wrong- the ideas and execution are great. its just that i think the subtle dancing in the oil lamp is more effective, more resolved, and feels more spontaneous and less touched. and from your recent reactions, i don't think beauty and the beast is what you're going for. i guess i disagree with martina on this one- i think the gesture is there with the oil lamp, but that its not as alive as the teapots (which to me is an ok thing.) the lamp is less a caricature (sp?) than the teapots.

and all of this leads me to the whole cute factor. i've been talking to ayumi a lot about this- it seems that as soon as you draw an animal, you begin to walk that line. ironically, i would describe the teapots as cute before i would the butter dish. maybe that's because i know what you're trying to convey with the cows and corn, which is not a light topic. but at the same time, those animals aren't particularly cartoony, and any cow that isn't cartoony is also incapable of being cute. i mean hell, cows aren't particularly attractive, are they. i think that the further you can bring your drawings from the land of the cartoon, the easier it is to remove them from the cute zone. (i think ayumi is the one exception- the only time i've ever seen cartoon animals work). liz quackenbush once pointed out to me that a carved line can have as much variation as a painted one, and that alone can add so much depth to your images. what other marks can you make into the slip? what can you do with the background? how can you glaze them to make them less straightforward? it always helps me to remember that if i'm not going to be putting in the time to etch the surface in an atmospheric firing, then i need to put in the time messing with surface in the studio. do you have any ideas for glazing? also, are those pills in with the corn? i'm not sure i get that part. what does it mean? does it matter what it means? and by the way, you are very good with a brush... would you ever want to paint things on there? i really like where this pot is going, and am excited to see what happens with it next.

and the tumblers. like martina, i was really happy to see them. and yes, i also think that although they are a different train of thought, they are strong and pleasant.

sorry to talk so much... i LOVED to see this round! :)

Kip said...

Thanks to everyone for all of the great comments, it has certainly given me a lot to think about. There are a couple of things you all hit on in these posts that I think we could spend a good deal of time debating. The functionality issue is certainly one of those things! I see the point about not all pots needing to function perfectly, but I get such satisfaction when I use something unique that functions well. It's such a challenge to make pieces that are interesting AND functional - while I can love a pot for it's aesthetic alone, there's nothing quite like a pot where it all comes together and that works well, too.

Mel, it's interesting to hear about your discussions with Ayumi regarding the cute factor. I think you're right that her work resolves the issue well. In looking at her drawings, the thing that keeps her animals away from cute (for me) is that she draws their features very small. No big doey eyes or floppy ears...

Your suggestion about line quality is a good one, I definitely need to try and vary my carved slip lines in the same way I would a brush stroke or a pen drawing. I'll definitely play with that.

I have received such mixed feelings on the oil lamp! I have been wanting to make an oil lamp for a long time now and finally had a chance to execute it at AR. It was intended as a study of the form, taken directly from a metal oil lamp I found online. Now that I know I can make one, I am certainly interested in the options I have for conveying a message through this form. I plan to try some future oil lamps in low fire with some drawing as well.

With regards to your question about the pills (yes, they're pills), that is directly from The Omnivores Dilemma. Michael Pollin talks about how ruminants are not actually able to digest corn. In order to make them, included in their diets are a number of antibiotics. I intended the rim of the butter dish to be like a conveyor belt feeing the cows their daily corn and meds.

Thanks again for all the great comments, it's been fun to extend our comments a bit...