Earth shaking personal growth just doesn’t seem to happen as often as I would like any more, (it’d be a distraction in any case). It’s through the kindness of the local University of the Pacific ceramics professor, Trent Burkett that I got to enjoy this wonderful treat.
I’m a huge fan of “Going Really Big”. It’s really a whole different world that the macho potters and large scale ceramic artists live in… Adam Field is one of these potters. He’s a ceramic artist from Durango Colorado making a month long workshop tour. This leg of the tour has brought him through Northern California in conjunction with his exhibition running September 12th through October 9th at TRAX Gallery in Berkley with established ceramic artists Sandy Simon and Robert Brady. You can get a peek at his line-up of works by clicking here. It’s a selection of beautiful high fired canisters. They are flowing, confident forms… and his surface designs… I can only guess at how he creates these, (I love it when I can’t figure out the details…)
What really got me going was that he apprenticed with the 6th generation master Onggi potter Kim Il-Mahn in Yeojoo, South Korea for ten months in 2008, learning the techniques of making huge traditional fermentation jars. Working in this scale, things get very interesting, and any opportunity to gain insight into any not so obvious common problems are golden moments. Carrying just a single piece through the entire process is a huge expenditure of time, materials, and attention. Adam was very open about sharing the details of the tradition he was exposed to and he expertly demonstrated the processes used to create these large coil built containers. It’s a process that, once mastered, allows a potter to create a 30+ inch tall jar relatively quickly, in about 2 hours. The downside is it takes intensive study and a whole lot of focused work to get a good grip on the processes involved. Of course, this is massive understatement…
I highly recommend checking out his website at http://www.adamfieldpottery.com/and while you are there, check out more of his videos. We’ve all seen pictures showing us the step by steps of this process, but it really doesn’t compare to actually watching the artist feed a coil into a new wall.
I’ve really have to share a few pictures from workshop…