Why focus on the technical side of a ceramics studio? For the longest time, I have known that in order to actually create the objects I can imagine, I will need the tools to get the job done. The tools lie asleep in thousands of years of making traditional objects.
The move away from traditional ceramic knowledge has been gradual, and persistent, because in most University ceramic programs, Fine Art rules. The result of this is about 50 years of graduating students that have very little traditional technical knowledge of the most basic kind. Most, when they think of clay, will think of a square box with something soft inside. Most will buy kilns and the tools, and most will be limited by what they did not learn in University.
So I will share what has gone on in my studio with whoever wants to look. There will be no secrets. All of the information is the direct result of a mistake, an accident, or a need to find answers to questions that impeded my creativity. I am lucky, in that I had good teachers in my art school, so I got off to a good start. While they might not recognize their contribution now, the ideas and approaches were instigated a long time ago. I was taught to respect traditional wares, and to not reproduce them. I tried.
In my search for ceramic knowledge, I read as much as I could about all things Asian, and found remarkable common sense solutions. I also had the privilege to visit Korea, and China and see for myself, what smart potters did to make good work possible. I also had the privilege of seeing marvelous ceramics museums in Europe, and seeing the inside of the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in Paris.
In other words, I had help. Now it is my turn…good luck, and let me know how it goes.
Please have a look at the first of my technical pages on how to prepare cone 14 clay body and slip.