Monday, May 5, 2008

Ruth's 2nd Post

This tumbler is made of ice (the way too expensive translucent clay) so you can see light through it. I created the upper design with wax and fired it in salt kiln.

This tumbler is glazed and fired in salt.

Rainbow mug a freak woodfired surprise... bmix clay

Fancy ice clay, glazed and soda fired

helmer clay, waxed over stamping and
glazed the rest of the piece, fired in soda kiln.

same as the tumbler above

Hello Everyone,

This is what I have been working on, still working with my stamps but creating new form by pushing out the clay and using the form as part of the decoration. Still need to update my artist statement but I have realized with these newer pieces that organization of space is very important to me. I think you will all see how these have evolved from my last post. Let me know what you think, enjoy....



critial ceramics said...

Hi Ruth, its candice! I hope all is well. It would be nice to know a little more about your pots. are they wood fired? are you using any glazes? I really love the shapes.They are soft and organic and they make me want to touch them. I like the minimal stamping as accent. I would love to see more colors! They seem like they have the opportunity to go in so many directions. Id like to see more done with them but its hard to say if since i really dont know your methods or where you are at and what you are doing. Tell us more.....

critial ceramics said...

the first thing i noticed was your progress, clearly you have been working hard and really looking at your own ideas. i am going to start with the teapot because it is my favorite. i think the body, the spout, and the lid/knob work really well together. the handle i feel is a little static, not as full and confident as the other parts(i also find this to be a huge struggle) the body and spout are full and round, the handle feels strictly functional. where as your spout relates a nice roundness and is a part of the body rather then an addition. the patter/design on the body could be there or not, i just don't feel it adds anything to the teapot, i feel it would be just as strong without it as with it.

critial ceramics said...

the two tumblers: the helmer clay tumbler is the strongest of the two(for me)the pattern works well dividing the space into windows, enchancing the nice full base. i like the 'thickness' of the glaze, i could use a little bit of a stronger(bigger?)foot. the fancy clay tumbler and first fancy clay tumbler: love the color and finish but for me, the shape is akward. i do like that cris-cross pattern that appears to me like it is holding the pressed out areas together, i would love to see this pushed even futher. the mug: great wood fired finish, the handle could be strong(fuller, wider, and thicker?) agian i would love to see the bottom pressed even further out. the bowl: nice strong lip i wish the foot equaled the strenght of the rim. ruth, i hope you keep up the work i think you are heading in a great direction, monicA

satoko said...

Hello Ruth! For those who don't know me, I'm Satoko. I've fired with Megan a number of times both at Doug and Jan's, and the Mendocino Art Center. I have been firing salt and soda kilns with Ruth for the last 6 month or so. Ruth, I've seen most of these pieces in person and feel that your sketches have been helping you a lot in terms of developing strong designs. Pushing out from the inside gives your bowls and cups the generous feeling and is working well with your stamped lines. Although I like your teapot, I would like to see it with more subtle, less domineering surface. The orange peel is attractive, but I wonder if it is competing with the teapot's already decorative form.

critial ceramics said...

Hi Ruth,

Martina here. I was really excited by your post. the work really seems to be developing from your first post. I can see your realization about how the organization of space is important to you. i would continue to play with that - where/how/why is it organized.
have you tried moving the deco across the form? I ask because other than the altering going on on the lower third - many of the cylindrical pieces lack the same sense of push and pull. THe teabowl toward the end is the strongest example of what i'm suggesting working toward - i like how the stamping and shaping have moved up the form - are not only limited to the bottom.
A similar sentiment applies to the bowl featured first. The ideas of shaping and volume remind me of elements i too am trying to work out on such a form. have you tried cutting and altering the rim? like the cylinders, i would encourage you to push the boundaries of what constitutes a pot - do you feel comfortable when they aren't round up top - why or why not?
I also agree with satoko about the surfaces - it may be that wood firing competes sometimes - but i love that teabowl at the bottom - the helmar one.
Ruth, i hope you're excited because i'm excited for you. there are lots of things to explore in this work and i think you're off and running. just keep pushing those forms and see what you're comfortable with. I enjoy the stamping - how many different ones do you have? do you use the same one on one form or mix them up?

Have a fun summer - make lots and i look forward to your next post!

critial ceramics said...

Ruth - (juliane here)
Your helmar clay teabowl/cup is beautiful. That pot is the one that speaks to me most naturally out of all the pots. I find the wavy rim very attractive, and the thicker line where you stamped in makes the cup decoration feel bolder and stronger. Some of the other cups look like they have thinner impressed lines that seem more tenative and don't seem to fit the fullness of the generous cups that you make. I agree with some of the comments about thickening up the handle a bit more too!
I find that the pushing the clay out is giving your pots "breath" and movement, but the lack of movement at the tops of the pieces (the stiffer top 2/3rds of the cups) seems to contradict the movement in the bottoms. I guess that is why I like that Helmar cup so much!
You have so much potential in these pots and it is coming out! I like others' suggestions of adding more color as well... :)

mel said...

hey ruth!
it was great to see you in california! i hope the social scene improves as much as your pots have since the last post! :) i wonder- do you feel good about these? i feel like your ideas are beginning to clarify themselves. i, like martina, am most drawn the the tumbler that is posted 2nd-to-last and the first bowl. you have broken up the space and arranged it nicely, and also dealt with every element of the form. in the others, it seems more like you had an idea for one part, and then sort of expected the rest to go along with that initial idea. how can you expand your patterning, pushing, and pulling to include the whole piece? i know when i was with doug and jan i found myself racing through my own work in production mode, and eventually had to slow myself down deliberately. do you think that would work for you? -mel

critial ceramics said...

Hi Ruth,
Finally managing to comment.
Work looks good. The one I am drawn to the most is the third image down, the amber salt fired cup. It feels polished and thoughtful - the carefulness of the stamping, the proportion of the decorated area to the blank area, and most of all the slight curve of the upper area. Something I have been thinking about lately is having two volumes in a piece - and I think that one does it really well. I personally would love to see more pieces in the same vein.

I'm happy to see you are making teapots and would also like to encourage varied forms - I think that putting your ideas on different forms can help one to think differently when you return to the forms you have been working on previously.

Keep working! It's looking good,

Kip said...

Hi Ruth – I’m going to join in the crowd here and say that I love the helmer tea bowl. The decoration, altering and glazing all feel like they fit so naturally on this piece – it’s one of those pots that I would love to pick up and hold. I think Martina’s suggestion of carrying the decoration up into the body and rim of your pots is a good one. Maybe even onto the inside a bit? Have you looked at Margaret Bohls’ work at all? She does some interesting pillow-like altering that may provide some good inspiration.

In terms of the teapot, I like the low, stable form and the way your spout grows from the body. I am left wondering a bit about the knob and how it relates to the rest of the teapot. Perhaps if you carried the stamping up into the knob, or some of the flower-like elements into the foot, handle or spout, it would feel a little more natural. And after looking at the cup above, I would love to see some horizontal decoration come into the piece somewhere, too.

Have you tried bringing your stamping onto your handles at all? That could be an interesting place to see some of your designs. Or maybe somewhat hidden on the inside of a handle or the underside of a foot…

Thanks for posting,