12 June 2007

vacationing with ayumi

Did everyone have enough cake? I certainly did. After a few false starts I am very honored to present my first guest blogger, Ayumi Horie. It seems no matter how much we potters and ceramic people try to take some time off from our work we have a very difficult time staying away from anything clay.

For our vacation this year in
Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Malmo, Sweden, I promised my partner that I'd keep work related interests to a minimum so that I could take a break from work, but of course it wasn't so easy. I saw many things that I hadn't seen before and others things, like old pots that look one way in a book, look very different in person when the details can be seen and appreciated. Here are some ceramics that moved me in some way.

Our one predetermined ceramic event was to visit Delft to go to the opening of my Swedish friend, Jen Forsberg, at the Terra gallery. What a treat to be able to see these pieces in person! They are at once abstract and concrete in the way that a form can materialize based on what can kind of time can be spent in the making. You can see in these pieces the shorts spurts of focused time that went into them. Notice, too, how differently the black and white clays hold space around them.

This colander from the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam made me want to get back into the studio and bump up the scale of my work. Even though it's slumped in the middle, I love the smartness of the lip and the dumbness of those coiled handles. I don't mean dumb in a pejorative way, but mean it in the sense that it's the easiest (dumbest) solution to the problem of how to pick up a heavy, hot pot. Coils don't have much sculptural value in and of themselves, except if used in multiples, but used in the right way on the right pot, they can be the best, most unpretentious solution.

Yes, they were using clay frying pans back then!

I love this twist on the traditional posture of the piggy bank because it suits so well the experience of patiently sitting and waiting for money to accumulate. Made by Pol's Potten in Amsterdam.

Here's a tiled wall at the Paul Tetar Van Elven house in Delft with images of various people and children playing. What's so interesting here is that the wall was originally tiled because the black skirts of the servants were brushing up against the plaster walls making their skirts dusty and white. Tiling the walls of the narrow staircase with ceramic solved this situation.

Another instance of clever design in the Netherlands from Studio Frederick Roije. This Two of a Kind ring is meant to be broken by two people in order to make a bond. Of course, the two serrated stubs that are left might slice a finger off, but who's counting?

Lastly, I saw this excellent diorama at the Malmohus Castle in Malmo, Sweden and couldn't help but feel lucky that I don't have to sit on the ground, pinch work, or wear that frock. This is the first pottery diorama I've seen and would love to know of others.

Thanks to Diana for this invitation to share some things I loved on my summer vacation!

Thank you Ayumi! I am glad to not have to sit on the floor in that frock, pinching pots too.


Unknown said...

Great Stuff!
Going to Spain for 2 week Saturday,... and LOVE inspiration... as well as TRYING to relax!!!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, *that frock* is really in right now.

diana fayt said...

have a great trip judi & remember to relax...though ayumi isn't a good example of that now, is she ;-)

bri, it's a good thing i am not a slave to fashion!

Cynthia said...

I enjoyed reading your interview with Ayumi. There might be some pottery diaramas at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature in the Native American section. I'll be going there before the end of teh month.

Gypsy Purple said...

Stunning blog!!!

Anja said...

Haha! Malmo, Sweden! That's close to where I'm sitting right now! And I didn't know they had a little pottery making doll there on Malmo museum. Must go and see her!

Interesting that I could learn something new about my home ground at an American blog! Thanks for the tip!