I am using different clays to make a range of bowl forms so that I can explore colour and texture as an essetial part of the bowl. These non traditional forms explore shape, volume, line, exterior and interior, and relationships between these things within the form of the bowl. They also pose questions about use, non-use, function and non-function. The question which it will pose is in the ilk of 'when is a teapot not a teapot'- when is a bowl not a bowl, when its is made intentionally in a sculptural way so that the viewer may ask why has the bowl been made like that? All objects have meaning , I am trying to work the meaning , "Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for". Bruce mau Incomplete mainfesto So how do you do that with a functional object- you make it non-functional.
I do, however, very much beleive in the possiblility of affordable, (Winchcombe Pottery, Gloucestershire)manage to keep costs 'affordable')home made functional ceramics- there is not the the economic or political will to revive a home based ceramics industry. Thus our cheap porcelains are made in the east, imported have air miles- etc, etc.
it is not worth making functional porcelain ceramics as they are so unreasinably costly. All mass produced tableware is handmade anyway. Someone asked me to make them a set of plates- I replied its not worth - go and buy some really nice limited edition one from the department stores. They had no idea how much it would cost.
These issues are inherent within all studio produced ceramic vessels. How do i work this metaphor into the pots.
The market for handmade, studio porcealain table ware is very small and exclusive because of the high capital investment to the maker, cost of porcelain(although this works out relatively cheap when itemised for each unit), the cost of selling in galleries. To practice as a studio potteer is costly. Even though the Craft Council have made a good case for the Craft indusrtry on economic terms-'Making It In the
21st Century'. A whole range for all markets is no longer produced in this country. there is no mass market for functional studio tableware.
Now that the industry is in the east and not home based there is no tangible tradition anymore of mass produced ceramics as a backdrop to production. The skills and infrastrucure have been lost.