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, May 20, 2013

a tale of 2 vases....and mugs!

Both of these vases turned out IDEAL. You will hear me talk about the Japanese influences of my early training in college, which had NOTHING to do with sculpting little doggies or piggies on bright and fun pots later. So, like I say, I work in 2 different directions depending on the day's mood....
the wife saw the black one in progress and was like "OH!  I love big and round pots!" and the one on the left is part of an ongoing ...what?  Series?  Quest?  To make the perfect vase to give to the Quaker meeting we attend.  Quakers are utterly plain in worship and meetinghouse decor.  There was quite a bit of discussion amongst members about an offer to make and install a stained glass window in the new building, and it had to be put in the hallway because it was agreed that stained glass would not be right in the space for worship.

SO, I have made many sacred vessels before, for Lutheran and Episcopal communion and for Jewish services and Unitarians too.  But what would you give Quakers?  And a member suggested a flower vase.  She happens to supply flowers from her garden some weeks, a small glass vase of which is the only color and decoration in the whole building.

What that means to me is that I am unexpectedly nervous about offering a gift to the meeting and having it rejected, as too fancy or....what?  On the other hand, I am sure as heck making a LOT of these particular vases...trying to make one that seems perfect enough :)

Monkeying around with mug shapes and glazes too....

(new pottery by Gary Rith)


Elizabeth Grimes said...

Interesting about your Japanese influence! I can sort of see that now in some of your work after our trip! Love your elephants. :)

Lori Buff said...

I love the vase on the left, so elegant and the perfect color.

Barbara Rogers said...

Having attended (been?) a Quaker meeting for a few years, I think that vase is definitely "Plain" in the good sense. And of course it will set off the natural flowers...much better than one of those glass manufactured things, yuk.

Michèle Hastings said...

The one on the left gets my vote! I ditto what Lori said.

bartster said...

I like how you're continually trying new ideas....Me? I'm doing a big clean, organize and declutter of the mancave. Long run, hope that helps. Short run...pots don't get made.

soubriquet said...

And I like the one on the left more.
The March of the Elephants made me laugh, Maybe Elephant vases....

Nope. Your conundrum is tricky, because, obviously it should be a thing of beauty, but at the same time, humble, plain, and un-ostentatious.
What can you do?
Perhaps, put forward several, and let a small group of congregation members pick one?
And then, there's that Japanese thing about humbleness, about 'mingei', where an everyday item, made by a humble artisan, is valued for its lack of pretension.

Too complicated for me. Give 'em an old fruit-jar!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I think the pale green vase is lovely and simple and would be perfect. At least that is the opinion of this very, very lapsed Episcopalian.

The black vase on the right? OH MY GOD! GORGEOUS!!!! I love it waaaay too much!

Anonymous said...

So you are a Quaker? My writing pal Mariana is one, too! At least she WAS one, I'm not sure where her faith lies these days...but I get to see her soon to check in.
I like the simple green vase.

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