Lately I've been asked with increasing interest how it is that I make my work. The simple, "It's handmade" isn't satisfying recent inquisitors, and I think that is absolutely wonderful. I believe that the surge in curiosity suggests something exciting about consumer awareness and the value of a truly laboriously created good. It seems to me that people want to know not only where their product is from but the real how it came to be.
Instagram is an incredible platform for me to share such hows and lately I've been including more shots of my tools, materials, and process. If you're not already following I'd love to connect with you over there: @suiteonestudio You can also view the web version of my Instagram feed here.
As you'll see on Instagram all of my work begins from a lump of clay. The same clay shown in those large clear plastic bags in the above photo. There is nothing bowl-like about the start of a bowl. The shaping of each piece comes from the cooperation between my hands, my tools, water, and the clay itself.
Currently there are no molds used in the studio, although I am considering bringing a mug mold into the mix. And yes, specifically a mug mold and nothing else. If you've been following Suite One Studio long enough you may know that I detest making mugs. It's what I've decided to consider a funny quirk about myself as a potter, and I have grown to embrace it. I love a good handmade mug, but let someone else make them. I'm just not that into it. That's a kinda big admission as a potter, but there you have it. A mug mold would allow me to make a truly perfect mug just once and then to cast replicas from it again and again. More on that later.
While I don't use molds I do use several other making techniques. I work on the wheel to throw every bowl and roll slabs to create every platter, tray, and plate. There is a lot that can go wrong along the way, and I share that on Instagram too. Sometimes it's a bit heartbreaking to have a piece dramatically shatter, but the pain can only last for a few minutes because another piece needs my attention. Ceramics is a near constant reminder of the value of patience and acceptance. And sometimes I even get all reflective and zen-like about it in my feed which who knows, may totally be your thing. I hope you'll come follow along!