Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some New Work

As I said in my last post, I'm trying a slightly different approach to planning my work. Instead of making a large batch of, say, mugs, and then a batch of teapots and so on, I decided to make batches by pattern. So earlier in January, as you saw, I made stuff for Blackbird in Almonte, and now I've finished some Pine and Loon pattern things for Three Yellow Tulips in Pakenham.

Three Yellow Tulips is a nifty  little Art and gifts shoppe in Pakenham, a village known for its Five-span Bridge, a historic feat of engineering spanning the Mighty Mississip. OK, spanning the Ontario Mississippi river.

Pakenham is also on the edge of the Calabogie/White Lake cottage area, so I am hoping a cottage-y pattern might appeal. And what is more cottage-y than loons?

Making black loons with white spots was a little tricky - the only way I could do it was to stencil the bird, then scratch through the black into the white glaze with a pin tool.

Now I'm working on Raven things. A very different kettle of fish, or should I say flock of birds? Each Raven is hand-painted and each one is different, so it becomes hard after a while to think of new poses and compositions. This is one way in which pottery is harder than painting. Painters only have to do one loon painting, the potter has to do one for each piece and if said potter is silly enough to be trying to make a living from tableware, there had better be many pieces.... anyway, the hardest thing about the Raven design is inventing it every time. I did spend some time studying the crows along the road the other day and realized that there are an infinite number of Raven poses. I just have to learn how to paint them. It's the gesture that matters, not the detail. Mind you, once the brush hits the greenware, the painter is committed, and the detail had better follow.

It's fun, and satisfying, but nerve-racking all the same! Pictures next post!

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