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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just the right fit

I took some work over to the NC Craft gallery yesterday and spent some time looking around at other people's work, since I'm sort of tired of looking at my own. I really didn't go there to shop, and I seriously did not need another cup or mug, but look what decided to come home with me.
This cup is by a potter named John Elder. I don't know him, can anybody tell me more about him? I really like his work. I picked up this cup and it seemed to be just a perfect fit in my hand and I knew it would be a great cup to drink out of.
I remember the Pete Pinnell video that was going around a while back about cups. I love the story he tells of Linda Christianson when someone commented that they didn't like her handle and she said, well it's just not the right cup for you. It's so true, and most of the cups I have are the right cup for me. I have to hold them for awhile before I buy them. Usually the decision is based on the handle. The best handled cups I have are from Whynot Pottery, Dean and Martin(their handles are amazing), and one little cup by Doug Dotson's wife. These are the cups I reach for a lot because of the handle. Others I reach for because of the art on it, or the glaze or just because of who made it. Gerry picks the ones that keep his coffee the warmest, usually the one he has from Hollis Engley and one I bought from Michael Rutkowsky.
Cups are a funny thing, the bread and butter of the functional potter. Not my bread and butter because I can't make a good cup to save my life! I have three that I made, fired at ^10 and they are pretty good cups. Made just after Brandon sent me my own personal video tutorials :)  But they are not something I enjoy making. I am glad that there are those potters out there that do enjoy making them, because I seem to enjoy buying them!

15 comments:

Patricia Griffin said...

Hey Trace, don't know John. But his cup looks awesome!

Tracey Broome said...

He has some really nice work in the gallery. Sara was busy, so I didn't get to ask much about him, just got his name. I'll have to check back with her, there isn't much online either.....

Lori Buff said...

That is a beautiful cup. I'm better at making mugs than cups. It seems odd to say that but it's because of the handle as the way to hold the piece, not the cup part. This cup does look beautiful and comfortable to hold, just what we want to achieve.

Tracey Broome said...

ps: Patricia, girl you sure are up early, I posted this at 8am isn't that 5am for you :)
Lori, this cup is weighted and balanced in just the right place for holding it, something I can never figure out, I would have to do the handle thing too.

Mitzi Davis said...

Hi Tracey! I've been following your blog for some time and I couldn't believe it when I saw this post! I had the opportunity to work closely with John Elder for a year in 2007, in Rome, GA. He is an awesome person and a wonderful potter. He is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada. If you want to read more about his work go to this site: http://www.capefearstudios.com/John-Elder.html
I've tried to keep in touch with him over the years and encourage him to get a website, but I think the last time I spoke with him, he was headed to India. :)

Tracey Broome said...

Mitzi! Thanks so much for commenting! John's work is great, but he is a bit elusive on the internet. I couldn't find a thing about him. Thank you so much!!! If you speak to him again, tell him I love his work :)

Linda Starr said...

That does look like a good cup to hold and the surface would prevent slipping, cool to learn more about him.

JUDI TAVILL said...

I was at a party on Sunday and I was quoting Pete's talk he gave at NCECA this year on the drinking vessel and about the difference between how men and women hold cups... It was such a crazy thing...how we hold them with two hands and will always try to shove (women) all fingers into the handle...etc... Big hit... As usual, I am sure the all thought I was nuts going on about holding cups... usual potter not amongst my PEEPS angst....

Tracey Broome said...

Linda, it is a great surface, I have another cup sort of like this, only shino and it is very slippery when wet. Judi, I know the feeling, someone in my family still makes fun of me calling a cup or mug a vessel... sigh, people just have no life!

Dennis Allen said...

The handle, the weight, the balance the lip, the surface, the glaze.I try to put out a variety of styles and get people to hold every mug in the booth until they find one that speaks to them.I think I sold about 30 Saturday so something must be working.

Tracey Broome said...

Give them choices. they will come :)

Paul Jessop said...

Nice, Very Nice.

Hollis Engley said...

I was talking with potter Anne Newbury the other day about mugs. We agree that absolutely nothing that we make is as carefully thought over and handled by the buying public. The mug (or teabowl or cup) is apparently the most personal thing we make. And if you worked on handles for a while, Trace, you'd make lovely mugs.

Ron said...

I've seen John's pots before and I really like them. Cool that you got that one. It looks great.

ladyofclay said...

Yup, John Elder was from Saskatchewan. He was a full time public school teacher here for many years while also making pottery. I had heard he was an excellent art teacher as well. I bought several of his ^ 9 reduction pieces way back when he was a marketing member of the saskatchewan crafts council ( http://www.saskcraftcouncil.org/ there might be something there about him ). Anyways, the thing that drew me to his work is his wonderful sense of form. Once he began wood firing I think he had a hard time selling his wood fired work here. I'm really happy to see his work on your blog and hear news of him. The form is still as strong as ever and its better in wood I think, because there is minimal deco cluttering up the form.