Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Form and Surface

I was curious to hear what people would write and say regarding Form vs. Surface. This is has been an long ongoing internal discussion for me. I did notice that a good amount of people that suggested Form would probably take prominence were notably, not only potters, but potters that had a good headlock on their surfaces already. They had a pallet of exciting surfaces and visions to test against and grace any forms that they work to develop.

But the coffeehaus community that I polled seemed much more fixated on the surfaces... I have to say that I'm partial to taking into consideration this view that may, in the end, help keep me from having to find the space to store an abundance of unsold work.

I'm still up in the air on this, but think it's safe to say that it's a balance...
"Sure and deliberate forms are the best sign of a competent potter... but a well handled surface can make a good form look great, and a great form dance!"

I'm a sucker for both...
A fun week of doing a run of 10 pounders.

8 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

I think you have a good handle on both!

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

I didn't chime in on the previous post, so can I do that now? I think form and surface are symbiotic, that the surface treatment has to compliment the form. But you should start out with a good form. Why draw on newsprint when you could have a nice sheet of vellum?

I think potters have an intuitive appreciation for good form which probably comes from working so hard to attain good forms of our own. That appreciation must not be contagious though. My husband came home from an Empty Bowl lunch with a terribly thrown and trimmed bowl. He really liked the glaze.

Makes you wonder how another artist would handle your form? Like last year, a couple of potters here in Western NC participated in a show called "Collaborations" where they sent their own bisqueware to another artist to decorate.

mea rhee said...

As a potter, and also a graphic designer, I've had to work with lots of people with varying degrees of visual training. Surfaces are easier to understand than forms. Color is the easiest to understand, texture and pattern come next. Forms are on another level altogether. I don't want to sound snobby, I don't think I'm superior to a person who hasn't been to design school, or spent decades practicing pottery. It's just an explanation why some people see forms and others don't. Anyone who has taken a good drawing class knows, when it's over, they weren't being taught to draw, they were being taught how to see. It takes training. So if your intention is to sell pots, you need to address the surface and color issues for those who can only see that far. But you can't neglect the forms, because those who can see will know. (the pot on this blog look really nice btw, forms and surfaces)

FetishGhost said...

I'm really enjoying the feed back on this topic... I feel that it's a biggie. Reading back through I'm hearing that as artists we need to be shooting to make work that can speak to each person at their own level. This takes both form and surface.

julietteisdead said...

No expert here, but I'm a surface girl myself. Form is icing on the cake, and it is helpful if it's particularly badass. $.02 :)

Anonymous said...

I work at a tile shop, and the bossman and I discuss pieces as we work. He got a cup from a show recently because it was so beautiful online. When the package arrived, we oohed and ahhed over the glazes and textures. However, after a bit, the tiny foot on such a large form stopped our admiration - it's an accident in the making, literally. Initially, the surface pulled us in, but the form was impracticable, and it sits unused, while he ponders whether to send it back. Too much time spent on surface, not enough on function. I took in a Kyle Carpenter cup I'd bought, and I saw the admiration on his face. Surface and form must balance. I've been looking at your pieces for a while, and will probably be gettin' me one of them cups soon. When I do, I'll take it to work. I'm also about to check out one of your glazes on the Laguna c.6 porcelain I use. I'll let you know how it turns out. naomi

jim said...

hi joel, i agree with where you're comin' from 'cause i'm a sucker for surface treatments as well. i also agree with meredith that you've got both form and surface down as is quite obvious by the form on those 10 pounders

Hyla said...

I dont know how you make all of these beautiful creations, I am taking a ceramics class for my art degree and I am always thinking of your work in class and I cant get anywhere close, :(