When I was a student, loading in the snow felt authentic. Dedicated. I am trying to recapture that feeling tonight, but so far I am just being reminded what a pain in the ass it is when the wads freeze to the kiln shelves. The rule for winter loading is: "Get it right the first time," because if you have to relocate a piece after it has frozen in place, even money says you are going to lose a wad and have to unload a ton more frozen-in-place pieces to find it, or else just shrug and consign that one to its fate, and whatever mug (if you're lucky) it is destined to ruin.
If you look close - here, I'll help...
...you can see the mug of hot water I always keep with me when loading in the winter, to warm my hands as much as anything. It's also nice to keep from getting so chilled that I shiver. Anyway! Break's over. My butt is kicked and I'd love to put this off until tomorrow, but every December day counts for seven regular days. You've heard of dog years? December is a dog month, in business terms.
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.