Friday, 12 October 2007

Spouting Forth

I am in the midst of trying to produce some work.In the search for the perfect spout I have tried a few different approaches.Being interested less in the hand-made ethos and more in a kind of clumsy Baroque I have opted for throwing and altering spouts. There is a point when putting together teapots that I become blind: that is I can't see the form/handle/ spout relationship at all. Many years ago after having produced a range of unsatisfactory spouts I was privileged to watch Takeshi Yasuda making a series of pots at a conference in Adelaide.I have trawled cyberspace but was unable to find an image. His overall approach to material was very different to that I was familiar with. He made the most beautiful teapots with spouts that were thrown and then pulled like a handle.Through this process they became fluid and elegant.I adopted his method and was much more satisfied with the look and function of the spouts, although I could never attain the elegance of Takeshi's teapots.

Earlier this year I went to clayedge at Gulgong and worked opposite American potter Linda Sikora (image above) whose work had largely slipped me by.There was an elegance which was similar (and at the same time wholly different) to Takeshi's work. I had seen images of her work in a number of publications but was wholly unprepared for the decorative sumptuousness of the actual works.(you need to be able to see the works themselves) Her spouts (which seem to echo those of metal ewers and the like) are made from thin slabs which are cut following a pattern and then coaxed together and joined at the edges.She was a joy to watch as she married the thrown bodies and assembled spouts. I am making spouts like this at the moment with some success ,though they look like Linda Sikora drunk. She also gave a terriffic talk/lecture centering on the idea of the decorative impulse in relationship to her own work.

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