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.
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