Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Germ of an Idea

Germs. One sort brings you colds. I was visited by this sort quite a lot this winter, and been kept out of the studio far more than I've been in it. But things are on the upswing for a healthy spring. And I may have been down, but not out. I have some new ideas of where to go next.

 So I'll share some of those efforts involving a different germ; the germ of an idea, and how it grows.

This is a bowl on a stand, Korean, 900 years old.  (It is celadon-glazed, Ru-style ware from the Ganjin kilns of the Goryeo period. I saw it at the Freer Gallery last week.)
Korean Ru-style bowl and stand, 12th century, at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

What I like most about this piece is the raised foot on the stand. A simple in-curving bowl, functional but not assertive, is nonetheless "presented" on the flowerlike stand. The effect is to make you pause just a beat extra to consider it. I find the subtle presentation of this piece harmonic. 'Shy?' it asks. 'A bowl among other bowls? Dare to lift yourself.'

You may remember that I've been pondering havdalah sets, the practicality of making them in the first place, who the heck (if anyone) buys a whole havdalah set, and what wonderful design would justify going to the trouble and expense at all. I put a drawing or two on my Facebook pottery page.  (Please feel free to click that link, and Like my pottery FB page, a very easy way to stay in the loop of a basement potter's life in very short bursts.)

It all started (but really, I ask you, who knows when it really, really starts??) with a rudimentary sketch before I went to Washington D.C. early last week.
A candleholder, spice jar and goblet- aka havdalah set.

The three components were there, but no tray to hold them. So I redrew, still keeping those funky little brass-stud-like things, and adding a tray.
Playing with width of candleholder base; also, giving tray a shape relationship with the parts.
Still, there is nothing I loved about the design.
Then we went to D.C. and looked at Korean ceramics from the 12th century. The bowl on a stand-!
Home again, I drew this.
Presenting...drumroll...Havdalah! (Brass-studlike things & goblet stem are history.)

The son of a gun needed to be presented. Introduced. Harmonized. Asserted.

This design is also beginning to put out roots...

It is spreading to tableware. Love that "presentation" raised foot, and trying it on other designs.
Beating back bronchitis and raising the presentation level on the pottery.


  1. I agree that the raised platform presents the pieces better, although of course I, the apartment-dweller, am now thinking, where would I store that?

  2. GilaB, does the raised design change the parameters of the storage equation?