Saturday, January 24, 2009

100 Mugs: Unity within Variety

I'm delighted to say that the 100 Mugs show has a time, date, and location: The June Fitzpatrick Gallery, at 522 Congress St., Portland, Maine, will host the show on April 28th, from 9 AM to noon. Anybody out there in the Portland area, I would so love to see you there! June has been very gracious and enthusiastic about this project, which in turn makes me feel encouraged.

I have done the wetwork on about 40 mugs now, and having a definte date set has, surprisingly, changed my mindset slightly. I am still thinking of it as a developmental exercise intended to push me into exploring new forms and surfaces; but now I also think of The Hundred as a body of work, and the show as a kind of meta-artwork. One thought that has occurred to me looking at the pieces so far, is that they are so various that they could almost have been made by different hands. I would really not like the exhibit to resemble a rummage sale, so I need to find a means of visually unifying the mugs. The trick is to make them sufficiently different as to fulfill the mission of the project, yet similar enough to seem all to belong together.

Since I use a lot of pattern anyway, I am thinking of dots as a unifying motif. I could change the scale, prominence, and method; some would be slip or added clay, some glaze, some a wax resist-subtractive technique. There could be very few dots on some pieces (or one dot; that might be amusing), while others would be peppered. I think I can make this work, but I am still brewing ideas.

I find that when I am in my cubicle, working away at my inconvenient part-time office gig (IPTOG, for short) I'll get ideas for mugs. I'll then sketch the thought on a post-it not, and hang it on the wall. One cabinet is papered with them.

I am away from my camera at the moment but will post photos of the latest pots when I am able.


Linda Starr said...

It's curious how things happen in clay, one idea stems from another, as the mugs, then how to unify them, making them separate, yet whole. I can't wait to see them (and all the dots) together. I saw a photo somewhere with a hanging wooden display with cubby holes filled with mugs. The whole displayed filled a wall. I don't recall where it was now, but they looked so good together, they were all different, but the display unified them. Maybe it was someones collection.

Congratulations on your etsy sale, perhaps valentines being close affected the sale of your red pitcher, the color and style was beautiful.

Patricia Griffin Ceramics said...

Looking forward to seeing how the show comes together. Thanks for sharing your progress!

Jerry said...

Congrats on getting the show booked! That's very exciting. I am curious to see finished products and how they all tie together.

Anonymous said...

Perfect idea for a show! I saw this on someone else's blog and followed the link here. I need to light the fire under my behind (pottery wise) right now with show opening April 30th.

I lived in Portland, ME for 5 years - miss it terribly. I know exactly where the June Fitzpatrick Gallery is located. Good luck getting it all together in time - you're off to a good start with 40 made.

Tara Lynne Franco said...

I like this concept for a show. I also found your site via another potter who is following my blog. I think you will find once you have the mugs all together, that you will be surprised at how there are connections between all of them which show your personal style. When teaching I often make demo pieces different than what I make in my home studio, but interestingly enough, they still have that little bit of me in them. I work in all white porcelain which I find is a great unifier of work. Have you considered using each mug you make to be a development of the previous one you made - a progression so to speak where you tweak this and that evolving the designs as you go ... Sound like a fun show. I'd like to do something like this sometime too.