Gary's Third Pottery Blog

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Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Monday, April 22, 2013

"the guild of chimney sweepers...and potters"

Eva Zeisel lived to 105 and was a huge presence in worldwide ceramics and design (our tea kettle on the stove top  was designed by her).  She had a nice way of designing  something useful, sleek, affordable.  A studio potter like me (a studio potter is basically a person who does the whole pottery thing start to finish, as in, wad of clay formed into pot then decorated and glazed and fired in one studio usually by one person--a complete artist and craftsman) would normally SNIFF with contempt (studio potters really do!) at Karim Rashid or others who are called "ceramists" or something when actually, to a studio potter, those people seem to be INDUSTRIAL DESIGENERS.  Meaning, they draw an item or make one item and have a factory do the rest.  THAT IS NOT A STUDIO POTTER, they are designers.  Potters get dirty and generally live in poverty and drink beer.  Designers make millions, drink chardonnay and drive BMWs.  Like I say, potters despise so called "ceramists".

Eva Zeisel is the exception.  She became an industrial designer, a very good one.  But first, when she was young, she lived in Budapest where she was an apprentice potter and a member of (this SO totally cracks me up)
(I was thinking about this the other day because I am a volunteer cleaner of our Quaker Meetinghouse, and we call  ourselves the "Third Street Sweepers")

"the guild of chimney sweepers, oven makers, roof tilers, well diggers and potters"

(mugs by Gary Rith)


smartcat said...

I've always thought that Eva Zeisel's designs are the epitome of elegance.....wonderful to look at, wonderful to hold, wonderful to use.

I love the Guild of Chimney Sweepers, Oven Makers, Roof Tilers, Well Diggers and Potters Like those mugs, particularly the black with pups!

Lori Buff said...

Eva was brilliant and thoughtful. Her designs were well thought out for beauty, function, and simplicity of design. It's something many functional potters strive for also and it's not always easy, we just try to make it look that way.

bartster said...

I remember seeing guild halls during our tour of western Europe some thirty years ago. Little did I know that each guild was so diverse! Love the expression on the cat's face in the mugs...kind of self-satisfied or smug. Great work and you're a credit to your guild.

Barbara Rogers said...

Guilds were the education system once upon a time, for passing along the "way to do it." Glad you're passing things this way in this time...but the last pic didn't open for me.

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

The lines of those pitchers are so sleek and lovely. You know what is also lovely? Cat mugs!

Richarde M. Talbot said...

I just have to say that I love, love, love your blog. Not only do I enjoy your whimsical pottery, but your stories have me hooked. Thank you for brightening my days!

preciouscurtis said...

Ohh, how adorable those mugs. Want to own one and give to my baby its his favorite cat mugs.

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