September 19, 2008

UC V Report, Part III

At the closing of the symposium all of the presenters gathered on stage to each say a few words about our favorite pots. I brought a big pitcher made by Mark Hewitt that I actually bought from Mark at a previous Utilitarian Clay symposium in 1996. At that particular gathering I was invited by Mary Barringer to be an invited artist for the exhibition. I figured I would go and check it out. It was the first time I had met Mark Hewitt and was before I moved to North Carolina.
I spoke briefly of my love of this pot and about the fact that I couldn't commit to just one favorite pot, but this pot represented all of the qualities of the pots I am trying to make. I spoke about its function and its weight, its "feel". I told about the night I stopped making the pitcher that I had become associated with and my lack of enthusiasm to make any more of "them". I looked around that night and saw Mark's pitcher sitting on my study shelf with other great pots. I decided I would give that "easy" shape a go and see how it felt. By the end of the evening, after midnight as I recall, I had filled up my table with about 10-15 poor attempts that later got smashed. The Devon style "jug" had me in its grip. To this day I struggle with a really good form of this pot.

Back to the potter's faves. My bud, Mark Shapiro ended the discussion with a little salt glazed 19c flask, that had a curious 21c wine cork in its neck. He talked about its attributes and how he had acquired it and then looked over at me to offer everybody a snort. What a surprise! I could have used one before I stepped up to the microphone to start the discussion. I gladly tipped up the flask with the faith/hope that there would be some whiskey in it. Sure enough, aghhh. We passed it around.
Here's Ron Meyers taking a sip. When it got to Linda Christianson, she tipped it into her giant mug by John Reeve and emptied what was left and handed Mark the mug. It was a great way to end the symposium.