As I was throwing this morning I started thinking about studio/home pottery. From the beginning I have always referred to myself as a home potter. When I first began to work with clay I didn’t know the history or significance of ‘studio pottery’ and it is something I am still learning about.
I looked up studio pottery on wikipedia:
Studio pottery is pottery made by professional and amateur artists or artisans working alone or in small groups, making unique items or short runs. Typically, all stages of manufacture are carried out by the artists themselves. Studio pottery includes functional wares such as tableware, cookware and non-functional wares such as sculpture. Studio potters can be referred to as ceramic artists, ceramists, ceramicists or as an artist who uses clay as a medium.
But what then is the difference between a studio potter and what I have called a ‘home potter’?
Yes I work alone and complete all stages of production myself and my items are usually unique or very short runs. Am I a studio potter then? I guess the biggest difference is the fact that I do not have a permanent studio space. I work almost entirely from home, in short and often sporadic bursts, and have to clear up and tidy away everything!
The photo below is a typical scene when I’m working at home – vinyl fabric down to catch slurry splashes, an old ikea shelf for holding wedged clay and vessels drying, newspaper, an old milk carton for water, my tabletop Shimpo on a stool and normal life paraphernalia in the background – in this case, namely the pram!!
Perhaps I am a studio potter, but I feel the term ‘home potter’ better reflects my work environment. When I finally get my dream shed with kiln, drying space, work surfaces, glazes… when I finally reach that dream, then and only then will I call myself a studio potter!