[Clayart] Trimming

Robert Harris robertgharris at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 22:01:41 EDT 2016

While what you say is absolutely true of old European and N. American
"country"/"peasant" potteries, the old country potteries of the Orient
still footed their pieces. And I'm not talking about the imperial kilns,
but look at the old Korean pots that were made for and by peasants. They
still have feet. From what I've been told that's because they generally ate
with their pots (especially rice and tea bowls) in their hands ... and who
wants to pick up a nasty rough bottom! (Also they threw off the hump which
practically requires a turned bottom).

Of course once Chinese pottery began to flood the European market in the
18th Century (and a little before that), the upper classes expected
porcelain and feet. Hence Meissen and Sevres etc. Of course they were paid
enough per pot that the extra time was more than paid for.

You seem to ignore the fact that even before modern "studio ceramics" there
was a long history of fairly labour intensive "refined" ceramics in the
West. Look at the slipware of Thomas Toft (mid to late 17th Century) for
example, not to mention the highly decorated majolica/defltware pots of
Italy. And then there's the very refined work of the Islamic potters. They
didn't have the technology or porcelain of the Chinese, but their tin
glazed work, and luster work is very very labor intensive.

Your family history is fascinating and important within the context of
pottery in the US, but there were many many other styles of pottery
contemporaneous to the folk potters of the S.E.


On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 2:31 PM, Jim Brown <jbrown1000 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Speaking of trimming, that is a major difference between "studio" potters
> making "art" type items vs the old potters making utilitarian type items.
> In the old potteries, time was everything - one did not "foot" or in any
> other manner take time with a piece once it came off the wheel.  The only
> thing done was the next morning a thumb was ran around the bottom edge to
> smooth that edge.  Except for handles, nothing is done to the piece.
> In many situations, studio or art potters spend more time in "finishing" a
> piece that it takes to make a dozen like it but that is what is expected
> for the items they make.  But in many of these cases, that time is spent
> taking excess clay off the piece to make it of equal thickness - especially
> from the bottom and side.  If one takes the time to turn the piece right,
> this time - and material - could be saved.
> *                       JIM BROWN*
> *                 BROWN POTTERS*
> *  "Making handmade pottery . . . *
> *                                                . . . since the 1700's"  *
>                    *   386 479-4515*
> *            www.brownpotters.com <http://www.brownpotters.com>*
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