Friday, January 10, 2014

Musings on Ceramics Appreciation

I will preface this post with the fact that I will be both incredibly vague, and oddly specific, and I hope it comes across as intended.  While I have not acquired any new ceramics wares in quite some time, and I know quite a few of my recent posts have been posts on pieces I've made, and they've all mostly lost the novelty that I made them and it continuously sinks in exactly how bad they really are, and most of them are very bad.  I like to try and find the good in items, and usually in all items there is some good.   But before I get too far off base let me get to my main point.

To protect feelings of other tea drinkers and ceramics collectors, I will keep this as part as generic as possible.  I recently saw some items posted that were initially very eye catching, in fact they reminded me of an artists work that is a very well respected artist, and I was impressed. But as I was looking at the photo's, I said to myself, something doesn't seem right, and the artists name was not given (until later, and it was confirmed it was not the well respected artist it reminded me of), but I kept looking a the picture and while I could not handle the piece through a picture, I suddenly realized what was bugging me.  The piece while stunningly beautiful as a display piece, honestly seemed horribly unfinished as a useful piece of teaware.

Again while I could not handle the piece, so I had no clue how its weight was dispersed, and how it felt in the hand, but I did a little bit of thought experiment from the photos I saw, and realized the flaw that stood out to my eyes before I even realized it, was the lip of the piece was horribly unfinished.   It while perfectly glazed, looked horribly uncomfortable to drink from.   (Possibly a sore spot for me recently, as that seems to be a major point in which all of my own pieces fail, the weight distribution being an obvious other.)

Trying to be as humble in saying this as possible, so before I make the point of this post let me first say:  I am sure that there are still hundreds of points I could be taught about how to appreciate artisan ceramics if not more.  Though a good realization is:  Great work will always stand out, it is not that hard to see great and explain that it is great, the real hard part is to be able to look beyond an appealing appearance and actually dissect the 'intangibles' of the piece, and then be able to explain and put into words how the piece fails.