Thursday, January 2, 2014

Always Learning - Ceramic Mug Critique

There has been a lot of talk about how bad Social Media can be for us and our youth...But when used appropriately, it can also be a GREAT help to those that are home bound for a variety of reasons.  I've been lucky enough to have been invited and/or accepted into various pottery/ceramic centered groups on Facebook.  I've mentioned "clay buddies" in the past.  A new group I've been welcomed into is "pottery critiques".  I took a big gulp and submitted one of my mugs for critiquing.  There are some AMAZING potters/ceramic artists that are members of this group. Some of whom I follow through their blogs and other means and truly value/appreciate their opinions.  Anyway..getting off topic. :)  I thought I would share the mug I posted for critique and some of the insights offered by some well respected artists in the ceramic community.  :)
Oak Leaf Camo Mug
 I call this my "camo" mug as inspired by the hubby.  He asked me to make a camo (woodland, not digital) mug and this is what I came up with.  Inside is glazed blaze orange, green/red leaves, and iron ore for the mug itself.  The handle has been carved to try and mimic the natural wood/branch texture.  It's available in my Etsy shop if you're interested.. :) 

Without further is the advice/critiques I was given:

-Handle is too high.  It should not come above the mouth/rim of the mug.
Oak Leaf Mug - Interior
- Handle appears to have been attached too wet, which is why there are sharp bends and flat areas in the handle. 
- Try attaching mug when it is slightly drier.  Sculpt/attach handle more so that it is more a part of the mug/looks natural rather than just "attaching" it.
- Make handle thicker to accommodate carving away clay during texture process.
-Better veining in the leaves is needed.
- Folding leaf edges over the edge of the rim of mug is not recommended.  Could impede/make drinking from it uncomfortable.  Create a "dribble".
- Less can be more on glazing.  
- Better glaze coverage/thicker glaze application of orange glaze on interior of cup

Everything that was recommended is excellent advice.  My cup even got called "wabi sabi".  I had to go look up what it meant!  Turns out...MOST of my pottery is wabi sabi!  Wabi sabi is an aesthetic centered on acceptance of transience and imperfection.  

I am VERY grateful for my pottery friends.  Most of which I've never met in person, but have gained much admiration and respect through our conversations over Facebook.

What are YOUR thoughts on this mug?  What do you like about it?  What do you NOT like about it?  Do you have any suggestions/critiques?

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