Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Intuitive Presence

"The works with the most presence are created intuitively. They are made without crowded thought, so in essence the work is not crowded or overworked. Attaining a mindset that is proper for creating intuitive work is not easy. It is much like the type of trance I am referring to in the dance poem. When something is made by an artist that has presence it sets a higher standard, and the artist should then be on a quest to make more art with that type of presence. The work you can see emotion in. The ones you can feel when you walk into a room are the ones that have presence. It is something hard to pinpoint, but one knows when something is beautiful. Even when you can't explain it." .....Brad Lail

I read this a while back and went back to it tonight. This is very much the way I have been feeling about what I'm making. I just want my work to be simple, with good form, and be beautiful just for the form and the glaze. I appreciate all the potters out there that use imagery to decorate their work, I have especially enjoyed all of the work from the show on imagery at Claymakers, but it's just not me. Every time I try it I hate it. And the process of decoration has crowded in on me. So I am taking a break from all that influence, and just concentrating on making good pots and developing simple, good glazes. That's about all I can handle right now! On with the journey...... with wise words from Brad!


Linda Starr said...

I've often found the work of mine other's like the most is the work I just happened to make without thinking or when I was fooling around with leftover clay. I remember the tall vases you made and the sculptured vases; I really like those and was immediately drawn to them when you posted them, looking forward to your future work.

cindy shake said...

Good post Tracey. I'm adding Brad's perspective to an on-going word file I've had on Self Critique... We all know when a piece is working personally because I think time stands still during the artmaking process. What I don't have a recipe for (and would like!) is how that transfers to be 100% effective to clinch a customer sale :o) Patrons can be drawn to a work but at most shows I want them to take it home after they've given me their Visa -ha!

Lori Buff said...

This is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. I love Brads ideas but I also understand the need to concentrate on good pots with attractive glazes. I think the pieces with presence will come from that if one is working from the heart.

powen liu said...

Try to borrow books on Chinese Sung Dynasty pottery. You will find the true beauty of simpleness. It was a great period when Zen Buddhism and tea ceremony flourished and sprayed to Korea and Japan.

Hollis Engley said...

Simple forms thrown with dynamism and feeling, made to be used, good glazing. What's not to like? Pots don't have to have mermaids and pine trees on them.

Brad Lail said...

I have made many overcrowded pots with too much decoration. I'm glad you used my quote and that it inspired you to the point of writing about it. Dont stop making pots with decoration because it is hard to balance form.
"Sometimes a pot sings from its wheel head from all of its related parts, and a potter may pause and think to himself, no pattern this time, just a single good glaze. Such a pot or expression is not an expression of the maker alone, but a degree of enlightenment wherein infinity, however briefly, obliterates the minor self."- The Unknown Craftsman

The pots that sing from the wheel head only happens "sometimes". These times are when the pots only needs a glaze or even no glaze. If one can see weakness in a form at all then he should try to use decoration to enhance the form. People shouldn't draw pictures on pots because then you have a pot and a picture. That is two things. If a pot is one simple movement the form and decoration should be one whole. So study the form of the pot like canvas and decorate it so it is one complete form.

I really hope that was not meaningless selfish blabber. It was just on my mind after reading what you wrote. Thanks for writing about it.
Brad Lail