Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

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 5, 2014

STOP THE MADNESS: Mugs and me more about them than you could possibly want to know

I was reading recently, something like:  "European's drink stronger coffee than Americans at 140 per something caffeine, with American coffee at 100 per something for caffeine BUT Americans drink much larger cups".
Later I see a picture of a chic Italian drinking coffee from a nice small cup and saucer...NOT a tiny espresso, which is cute, but a nice modest tea cup sort of size.  Which is probably what we all grew up with, right?
WHERE did we get the idea that coffee came in 50 gallon BUCKETS????

Was it FRIENDS?  Monica and the rest were always hanging around Central Perk with these absurd 90s sized coffee cups.
That was fine.  It was new, it was cute, it was outrageous, stylish, but my small wife, for example, has been asking me for years to buck the trend, and my bladder can understand why... also, think how cold that coffee would be by the time you are halfway through....

I mean, back to point one, and chic Italians:  do you want to be the ugly American wandering around Smallmart with a fifty gallon bucket of coffee or do you want to be Tonio or Sofia in a piazza sipping a modestly sized latte with biscotti before getting into your Audi TT convertible and riding to the Costa del Sol????

I was inspired by all this thinking.

I was taught that handles should be a carrot shape, rounded etc, it took me years to realize I REALLY prefer a flat, strappy handle for my fingers comfort, also wanted to make some cups and saucers of basic shape BUT with subtle decoration under the glaze, a blue blob of glaze in contrast on the cup inside and on the saucer....and I like the little blip on the saucer edge.  The wife mentions how easy it is to GRIP the saucer's blip, true! And also when you set your spoon at rest it may help...

the wife reminds me of a German designer in an interview telling the reporter:  "this is a badly designed cup and saucer.  Every time I lift my cup, the spoon slips into the spot for the cup"

I never use spoons for my black coffee or tea.  So I make small saucers.  The wife and I talk further
"a bigger saucer gives you a spot to place your biscotti!" and I am like "Aha!"

OK, so, next time maybe I make big saucers!

I gave these 4 to us.  I am greedy.  I cleared out a few of my mugs from the cupboard to set into the museum back in the studio (since I make a lot of different shapes and ideas, I need to save some stuff to remind me of where I have been).
But as I put these into the cupboard I realized our shelves are amusingly full of my work.

Other potters have other potter's work.  I don't.  This is horrible, and other potters are shaking their heads thinking "that fukking Gary, so narcissistic!" which is a fair accusation.  Always using my own work, essentially staring at myself in the mirror, right?

WELL, let's be nice here.  Instead, let's realize that I make pots to PLEASE ME, and fukk the customer! I don't really care what YOU want ;)   *** Buy it or not, I have to do what I do.   And using my work helps me reflect, as I am doing now, on what I can do better the next time.

Alrighty, enough about me, hope you are having a great Monday!

***this must all sound terrible, but I hope you accept my wicked sense of humor and read this in that light


smartcat said...

No wonder you love A Chair of Bowlies!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Look at those sad little white store bought plates in the cabinet with all your colorful pottery. They must feel totally left out of all the dishware fun!

Anonymous said...

i love your wee cup and saucer set....i put a similar little twist on some of my bowls and platters, adds such a fresh and spontaneous energy to the pot! but i have to say i'm one of those greedy guts who likes a big coffee mug....don't mind that it gets a bit cool ;)

Anonymous said...

I think it must be hard to let go of favorite pieces...I don't see that as narcissistic at all. You appreciate your own art!
Clever saucer idea.

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