Monday, July 4, 2016

Point of Origin

There's always a need for an origin... a way into an idea... a starting point. That singular place at the edge of something new. Invariably it's about choices... a place to jump off quickly or wade in slowly. 
Exploring functional flat surfaces is scheme I've been meaning to get around to for years. There never seemed enough time to wade in slowly and quite frankly, anticipating the given results, I wasn't looking forward to getting into any of the headaches of making standard sized round serving plates. 
Problematic materials 
Process issues
Firing problems 
Blah blah blah...
Finicky nature aside, making anything out of clay is generally challenging and complex, and at the moment, I don't really care to go out of my way to see exactly how frustrated I can make myself in my spare time.
"Gotta keep it simple", (always the "go to" phrase of a truly shortsighted man)...
Floating in my mind's eye are rectangular sushi trays, square salad portions, and small dessert plates. Small, flat, delightful canvasses.
Thinking about it, the smaller sizes feels less formal and more intimate, and because of the intimate nature, it's much easier to feel free to delve through surface ideas once standard forms are set.
Returning to the issue of a starting point. 
A few months back, Jess had gotten us a small cut rim plate from North Carolina potter, Michael Kline. 
Unmistakably, it's an amazing little piece.
Unwrapping it was like holding a Hamada bowl for the first time... I could feel a standard being set. 
The size was nice, (really nice).
There was a slight concave that was alluring.
The cut rim effectively disrupted the cliché of a round plate (there's a brilliance to this single point that will be saved for another post).
...but what I was really drawn to was Micheal's generous use of clay.
There's a thickness that the cut rim visually conferred that strikingly affected the form. Because of the smaller size, it's thickness could be dramatic without it disturbing its balance or it becoming a heavyweight. More surprisingly, the extra heft made the piece that much more comforting. 
Sweet trick.
And for a dessert plate, to add a finespun element of comfort to the presentation of the food... well that's magic and a darn good starting point.
So with a deep bow to the genius of Mr. Kline, this is where I'd like to dive in.

1 comment:

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