IMG_7136 by mfuru on Flickr.
Actually this fabulous pot is ancient Iranian - he predates the Persian empire.
I like to ask my students to consider the sources they draw on. For virtually all of us potters today our primary sources are dishes: industrially designed and manufactured tableware we grew up using. Yet we’re drawing on work where concerns for mass production and mass marketing have entered the mix, and the influence of a single human’s hands has been neutralized. Industrial ware as a sole source for handmade work is barren soil.
Our birthright, the legacy of handmade pottery from all cultures and all eras, draws on a far deeper root. From where do you draw your sense of proportion? Of rightness of surface in relation to form? Of appropriate signifiers in the finished work for use at table? If we fail to ask these questions, we fail to come to terms with the medium we work in.
With that in mind I offer you an example from one of my favorite pottery cultures, one that made work that invites the hand to use it (I would love to feel the heft and curve of this jug in my hands) while celebrating the abundance of life in the form of a stylized buck.