Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Body of Work

As I enter my second year of working in clay full time, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What exactly do you mean when you say a body of work?

All of my pieces are formed in the same way and appear to be related. I really think the viewer can tell they come from the same artist. However, a lot of artists have certain surface designs or firing methods, such as wood or soda that help unify their work.

I love glaze, I mean really love glaze. I love to test new glazes, and I have a tough time limiting myself in the studio.

I have a cone 10 black, white and shino. I have a cone 6 yellow, blue, and plum. I have a couple of crossover glazes: a glossy brown, which is identical in cone 6 or 10, and Rob's Green, which is more of a matt pine green in cone 6 and a glossy, almost metallic green in cone 10. Then I have some cone 10 glazes that look awesome layered. Oh, and I have a couple of Fake Ash glazes that look pretty great.

I find myself wondering how a certain pot will look in such-and-such a glaze. What I have ended up with is a hodge-podge of pieces in my show space and thus a hodge-podge of work to take to galleries.

Do galleries want to see only a few glazes? Do I send all of my cone 6 work to one gallery and cone 10 to another? Should I reserve certain glazes for my functional and others for my decorative pieces? When you send pictures for jurying, should the work have all the same glaze, or at least glazes that look good together?

I'm sure it would simplify my life if I limited myself to only a handful of glazes but would I have as much fun? I'd certainly get the kiln loaded faster.

Should I get off my schizo-rant and give myself a break? I've only been reduction firing again for a year and a half. Perhaps I should give myself the freedom to make however many glazes I can stand and then begin to scale back as I lose interest.

In the meantime, I still need to figure out how to present myself and my work to galleries and guilds so they can will take me seriously.


  1. I looked at your Etsy shop, and I think you do show a body of work, there are just a variety of colors for each piece. I think a lot of potters do that, God bless you for liking glazes :) If I could just find one I like I would be happy! Instead I am smoke firing so I don't have to glaze! If you have a limited number of styles and offer each style in a variety of colors, your work still looks cohesive I think. More to choose from :)

  2. I think your forms definitely show a body of work! Some galleries might ask for certain glaze colors - but I think a table full of your earth colors would look fabulous together.