I have been back in the studio for the past several days, finally making pots again for the upcoming holiday season, and after a four-day visit with our son Marcus, visiting from Seattle.
Our holiday kiln-opening and open house is Dec. 18-19, with my work and work by painter Jean Swann, jeweler Kim Collins, bookmaker Ruth Bleakley and glassblower Bryan Randa. And for the first time in a few years, pots by another potter. Lois Hershberg, of nearby Marstons Mills, will bring her handbuilt and raku-fired work.
So I need more pots, especially more mugs. I threw mugs today to add to the simple tumblers that I threw over the past few days. One result of our visit to North Carolina last month was acquiring a couple of fine little tumblers from Mark and Meredith at Whynot Pottery. (See previous post.) They seem to make them by the hundreds, along with many more complex pots. I often neglect things like that, forgetting that people actually do buy simple, usable, relatively low-priced work ... if given the opportunity. So above you see some of the freshly-thrown tumblers. And a pile of stuff that came out of the bisque kiln that same day. I'm running out of room in the studio.
At the top of the photos on this post are two teabowls, thrown thickly, faceted and then pushed out on the wheel to form a bowl shape. Both are glazed in a white Shino with some carbon-trapping. I put them up here because they come from a batch of bowls made a few months ago, two of which went out the door last week with a tea ceremony practitioner from Thailand. John Toomey is an American, but teaches tea ceremony there. He was visiting a friend in Falmouth and spotted my pots on a shelf at Coffee Obsession. The two of them came to the studio, spent quite a bit of time talking and John left with two faceted Shino bowls to take back to Asia with him.
It's gratifying to have my pots go to that kind of use. I don't intentionally make tea ceremony ware, but my influences nearly from the beginning have been Asian work, especially Korean and Japanese. I don't imitate the work - and I'm not a tea ceremony expert - but I think at least a part of what I make shows that kind of feeling. Here on Cape Cod, it's rare that anyone knows anything about tea ceremony or about Asian pots. And I was delighted that John found a couple of bowls he liked. One, he said, will be called Octopus Skin and the other White Rabbit. Which makes them, I think, my first named pots.