Gary's Third Pottery Blog

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Gary's third pottery blog

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jeff and Meesh and me....

(pottery by Gary Rith)
As bad as my memory is, some ideas I never forget and they run through my head often. I also sometimes sit on ideas for years and revisit them when I am ready.
Jeff Brown and I knew each other as members of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. He lives some of the year in his native North Carolina now too (and we moved to NY), but he is the very definition of a master potter. The rest of us are just messing around, Jeff can just DO IT.
Anyway, in talking with Jeff, back, like in 2003 or thereabouts, he would say things like "be very deliberate in how you texture a piece. Either smooth the piece off or carefully choose a texture, but it should be conscious." Also something about mathematical proportions, symetry, and natural beauty. Like, for example, a shell will have perfect mathematic construction, like a spiral staircase, and what can you learn from that and what does it have to do with the golden rectangle? DEEP thoughts, stayed with me.
Anyway, Jeff was also good friends for many years with my friend John Zentner, who had gone to college with my instructor Jane Ford Aebersold (these connections are getting deep and tangled, aren't they?). John passed away a couple of years ago, and he was young (fuch you republicans who want to keep Americans from universal health care, how many citizens and taxpayers like John have to die broke and sick before we all get health care?)
ANYWAY John's lady was Meesh. Meesh was actually a realtor who became a potter.
Long story short, Jeff and Meesh have gotten together nowadays and have an awesome pottery going in Seagrove, NC. You may say there are already a million potters in Seagrove, but these two kick ASS with their work and Seagrove is lucky to have them around.
OK, the point of this post, now that you have the history of us guys.
I have idly noticed for years how Jeff and Meesh texture their pots and asked a couple of weeks ago how they do it, and they told me. You have stamps, which I knew, and you have to have a piece that is nearly leather-hard dry, but not too dry, and then go for it. I realized myself you have to be able, ideally, to get your fingers inside so you press out against the stamp. That is my observation anyway, and I tried it the other day and on the raw form I did not like the way it looked, but thought I would fire the mug (top) anyway. SURPRISE! Looks sooooooooo awesome with my glaze named SPIKE (for his eyes) that I kept the mug to use myself. Then you see yesterday I was trying to stamp skulls and cats too.....anyway. Thanks Jeff and Meesh for your ideas, I am grateful.

Below? Things are a wee bit icy around Cornell and around our house these days....


cookingwithgas said...

small world since they now live 2 minutes from my house.

gz said...

I do a lot of spiral stamping too!
You get interesting marks from all sorts of things...have fun!!

gary rith said...

I know, both of you do great stamping :)

Michèle Hastings said...

awesome mug! can't wait to see the ones with the skull impressions fired.
thanks for all the kind words about us... it truly is a small world.
and yeah... fuch those republicans who don't think we deserve universal health care.

Jay said...

It looks the same here as it does there today. All snow and ice covered.

Unknown said...

Awesome stamping! Love the mug!

kate et jim said...

We've got more snow than you, Gary. Unless you're getting slammed w/ this storm like we are.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Those mugs make me happy!!!

Liz said...

stamps and stamp making are my passion... I stamp some things in the soft clay, before I build the piece, and some in the leather hard stage. it really depends on the pot i am making. that mug is HAWT!Spirals are the bomb!

Deb said...

Hey Gary, I "know" Jeff Brown too. He sat on the panel when I juried into the League of NH Craftsmen! Cool guy! (I'm not a member anymore since moving to Maine). So, I guess I will have to say the standby "small world"!

Reverend Awesome said...

F them in the A for thinking we don't all deserve healthcare. I live the little paw prints. Awwww. Skull stamps! Yes!

Fickle Cattle said...

Very nice. The stamping thing looks delightful.

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.