Stu(pi)dio Potter

Anyone still out there?…. there…. ere…. eh?

I just complained to Scott Cooper that I’m self absorbed enough to worry that the hollow echoes of my voice are making me crazy, but not self absorbed enough to ignore it.

Well, after the infamous 1000 plus word assaults I unleash against my readership’s psyches its no wonder I am met with mostly silence these days…. Serves me right, I suppose…. Maybe its time to switch tactics and throw out a little dubious eye candy. An informal poll of my non-existent audience says that pottery bling is where its at. Or as Bridget Fairbanks calls it, folks are looking at blogs for the “pottery porn” (not the insane ramblings of a stu(pi)dio potter).

Well there isn’t much documentation of the recent life of my hands (maybe I’ve been doing a bit more thinking than potting lately), but I did manage to snap some pics of pots at the place where I do my teaching. The ubiquitous potteryblog greenware will have to suffice.

Behold the wonder of my creation:

An odd assortment of pots, for sure!

Eek! Maybe I forgot how to center!

Oh yeah, I threw square bowls on a round wheel. No wonder they look misshapen!

More evidence that I can’t center. Or, they actually were centered until I “artistically improved” them.

A trio of watering can options for my students to look at. As if a ceramic watering can actually made sense! But hey, if Bill van Gilder can crank ’em out, then maybe the students in my “Pouring vessels” class should get acquainted with the possibility as well.

                                               Now that’s some REAL potter’s porn!

So now that both the profanity of my teaching has been exposed and the dementia of my potting revealed, I’ll just step back into the echo chamber and and resume the life of a stu(pi)dio potter.

Happy potting all!

Make beauty real!


About Carter Gillies

I am an active potter and sometime pottery instructor who is fascinated by the philosophical side of making pots, teaching these skills, and issues of the artistic life in general. I seem to have a lot to say on this blog, but I don't insist that I'm right. I'm always trying to figure stuff out, and part of that involves admitting that I am almost always wrong in important ways. If you are up for it, please help me out by steering my thoughts in new and interesting directions. I always appreciate the challenge of learning what other people think.
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6 Responses to Stu(pi)dio Potter

  1. Rebecca Brandow says:

    Ooo.. pottery porn! That actually isn’t what prompted me to comment… I’ve just been a technical slacker lately and I feel I need to step it up a bit. I went off FB *gasp* for almost a week now, and well, I’m still breathing so it must not be essential to life on the internet. I should not, however, ignore my blogroll.

    SO, yes… pottery porn is good, as are the 1000 word posts. There’s a place for everything, even wonky off-centered pots. 🙂 I dig the square pots… are you sure you didn’t make those on a square wheel? 😉

    • Hah! Thanks Becky!

      I know what you mean about the black hole of facebook. These days I just check in to see if there is something addressed specifically to me and then I run away. I can barely remember the early days when 2-3 hours would pass by and I was still on facebook!

      Three cheers for pottery porn! Hip hip hooray for 1000 word posts! Praise the heavens for things off center and wonky!

      I’ll have to check on that wheel. It seems like almost everything that comes out refuses to stay round. Its got me stumped….

      Thanks for chiming in! Glad you are still out there!

  2. brandon phillips says:

    I’ll be completely honest and say that I’m like 6 months behind with your blog(and many other content oriented blogs.) Side note: I met Bill Van Gilder this weekend, cool guy. I’m gonna be in Atlanta for the ACC show this next weekend, I hope you can make it out..

    • Ahoy Brandon!

      Good luck this weekend! I won’t be able to make it out, but I hope you sell what you need to and make good connections with some of the gallery folks! Your pots are fabulous, and the work you put into this truly deserves a lot of recognition. Kick some A$$!!!

  3. I enjoy the 1000+ word posts. My blog is essentially a way for me to keep myself up to snuff and logically searching and thinking about my pottery practice. Writing about ceramics is vital to keep the pottery profession valid and evolving in a documented fashion. A prof once joked that if you want to publish a book about ceramics “just make a picture book”. Images of pottery are needed, especially in the growing online evolvement required of potters, as pottery is a visual art form and heavily reliant on surface this makes sense. However form is the essence of a pot and only can be experienced in person. When paired with diction we have something complete. In my eyes they are all synonymies. The image of a pot embodies the dark late night studio ramblings of the maker. The flat visual drip of a glaze denotes form. The feel of a lush curve alludes to surface. The trick is balancing it all out, and as current and relative essays on ceramics are sparse in the digital realm please keep writing 1000+ word posts!

    • Hi Bridget!

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment! You speak many truths!

      I guess as much as I look forward to all the pottery bling and porn that others out there share on their blogs I have a hard time seeing my own blog in the same light. Before I was a potter I was a grad student in Philosophy, and had spent a short lifetime thinking about things with my head. Thinking with my hands was a revelation! And discovering pottery came at exactly the right time for me. I was starting to get disillusioned with the project of academic Philosophy, and found myself waaay too wrapped up in my own head. Making pots came to me as a break from the intellectual side of my world. But thinking about pots and thinking about the larger picture of art and creativity in the world gradually became a new avenue to also work on. It kept my head in the game.

      But I suppose I still tend to see the activities as somewhat separate. I make pots, I think about pots, and I think about making pots. And making pots is what I do in the studio. Thinking can happen anywhere at any time, but blogging about it happens in front of the computer. So I guess my blogging more often looks like what happens in my head than what happens in the studio. Clusters of words come off the screen rather than juicy images of greenware and heart pounding action shots. The porn and the bling are just not things I think of when I’m in the studio. And I’m not a good enough marketing strategist to connect those dots as often as I should.

      So what you get more often than not on “Ye Olde Carter Gillies Pottery Blogge” is the clickety clack of the keyboard, and not the clickety clack of my treadle wheel. Perhaps not your typical pottery blog, but then few people would accuse me of being a conformist….

      Thanks for wandering on over, and thanks for chiming in!

      Happy potting to you, and thanks for sharing so much on your blog!

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