Thursday, August 7

Mug comparisons

So my idea is to compare some of the mugs from this round. I was going to compare handles, but I thought first I might deal with shape. Many of these look better in the photo I think. Holding them I get a different impression. Keep in mind that this is just what I am looking for in my own work, and I don't believe every successful mug should have these characteristics. I myself enjoy a huge variety of forms and styles from other potters. I'm just looking for something that works for me.

So example 1. Two mugs very similar, but different. I feel the top one is more successful. There is something about the swell of the belly that is a little more inviting and the rim dips in a little making the space feel slightly more enclosed.

Example 2. A similar form but it just sort of sweeps up. It's missing that little indentation above the foot that might give the base a little lift and no belly swell. Also the rim just flares out. It's very open and feels less comforting

Example 3. I feel like the top cup is more satisfying in shape. Again there is a nicer belly swell and a little movement also with a throwing rib.

Example 4 is very similar, but kind of dead on the outside and while there is a little swell, it's up kind of high. It's more like the pot is puffing it's cheeks out rather than taking a breath.

Example 5 is one of my favorites from the group. What do I like about it? Well again the round belly, and although it doesn't dip in a little at the rim it dips in below the rim in a decent curve and the lip has some fatness and nice undulation on the rim as well. Also nice lift at the foot.

Example 6 is missing the boat for me. I don't like the way it sweeps up so severely towards the belly and feels more like someone puffing out their chest rather than, again, taking a breath. Not much undulation, and no flaring out towards the rim. The rim has a nice fat quality, but that's about it. It's just kind of static.

I have many others I could compare today but I'll spare you the redundancy. You get the picture. I know I have been unsatisfied with many of my pots and although I can recognize a good pot it is often difficult to make that transition from my brain to the making. I read this great thing on someone's blog and I wish I remembered who, but she said something like, she was finally getting to the point where her hands matched her heart (she said it way better). I can totally understand that. I know what I am after in a vague way. It may not be an exact shape of a form, but it's a form that is successful in every way. All the parts are working as a whole.

I'll talk about my handles on my next post. I'll be glazing for a while now so won't have any new pots to put up and I don't want to run out of posts in one day!

So, several potters have stopped by to visit my blog and I just want to say hello and thank you to every one who does. I truly enjoy writing knowing you are reading.


Judy Shreve said...

Deborah -- I think a mug is one of the hardest shapes to get right. It's more difficult - for me - to throw one pound of clay. And such a small piece means every design decision is crucial. I think throwing many mugs with subtle changes is the best way to critique your own forms. And I agree with all of your assessments -- mug #1 is my favorite too. - Judy

Ben Stark said...

Great mugs Deb! I am partial to #5, the undulating lip and the overall shape seems the most...human. Looking forward to the handle discussion.

Deborah Woods said...

Thank you both for reading my self-critique. It's interesting how my perception of the cup can change from the time I throw it till it's done. When I put it up on a board, it's there because I like it. Otherwise I wouldn't keep it. But once it's trimmed and handled the shortcomings become very evident. I wonder how many mugs you have to make before you can do them well.