It seems cliché to say “we’ve been busy in the studio.” The first quarter of the year has presented more challenges in terms of materials. In the fall we had issues with a slip material (that’s the liquid clay slurry we spray over leaves in the wet clay stage to create the two tone base our glaze covers to make the finished pottery). I thought those issues were resolved, but they seem to be coming back to a degree. Also, there have been some issues with our clay body. While none of the problems have resulted in complete inability to produce work there are more pieces coming out in ways I don’t expect and I've been holding back on full scale production while we explore the issues.
I’ve been trying to view this time as an opportunity to examine the whole line. I’ve been experimenting with a few new forms and even (gasp!) exploring new glazes and new approaches. We will still be making leafware for many years to come but it never hurts to try to new ideas. The materials glitches (most likely the result of big changes in materials that are available) create some down time in the studio that I try very hard to avoid. In that time, we’ve been pushed towards experimentation. I love tradition, so it’s not an avenue I usually walk down willingly. That said, stay tuned for some new work to consider in the coming seasons. I'm also practicing being okay with the idea that we may not have perfect matches for pieces in terms of color. In reality, the work has always exhibited a range of color, activity and shading. The more things change....