Diary and notes from a secret ceramics studio.
Form! No amount of pretty surface will fix a nasty form but a great form can stand on it's own without decor (this from a die hard decorator trying to break the habit...)
But if you have a good form with a bland surface, will anyone look twice?
Trick question...both are of equal importance
I'm thinking that what we seek to accomplish with our work plays a big hand in this question. Are we looking to sell or entertain?
A piece might be entertaining and sell because of that. A piece might have a nice form, but a person purchasing the piece may want a different surface texture or glaze color. If you want to sell sometimes surface makes a difference.
Can't have one without the other. I've made pieces that I didn't think much of until after they were glazed and pieces I loved UNTIL they were glazed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in creating I often have an image of what I am trying to achieve which blinds me to the beauty in the object I have created. When I come back to that same object (much, much later) without my ideas of what it "should" have been I can wonder why I didn't pursue a particular surface any farther. :)
Chicken and egg, which came first :)that's a tough ?? At first I wanted to say form but I love surface decoration, but the form...but the surface.... arghhh!
I think I have to agree with StudioELAN. Look at a group of mugs glazed or decorated in the same manner. The one with better form will just stand out as a better pot. It will be more appealing.
I think form should come first. I'm not looking at this from a selling point of view. In my opinion, as potters we should strive for good forms. (what is a good form?) Forms can be judged before ever being bisqued or glazed. I notice lots of pots that sell because they have great glazes or great deco. But if the form is bad that does the whole pot in for me. I don't care for it so much. I think pots with good forms and bland surfaces are hard to sell yes. But the good form gets points from me. Now the potter can work on the surface.
I think I'm with Michi...I'm a potter and I love well crafted forms, but it's the surface that seems to bring our forms to life or accidentally kill them.The delema has been that I've seen a whole lot of "pigs" that are lathered up in lipstick sell like hotcakes. It's one of the bullet points that leads me to suspect that the surface is what butters the bread. Although great forms + fantastic surfaces creates Art.
I gotta go with form, Ron pretty much nailed my feelings on the head(being potters we want to make nice forms, bad pots selling becasue of decor...etc)
well, there needs to be both i think and it's a really close call to me but as someone who is an obsessive surface decorator, i'd have to say form.
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