Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Priscilla Mouritzen Pinched Bowls

Priscilla Mouritzen is a South African Potter living in Denmark. She does other work as well but I really prefer her simple pinched, wood fired porcelain bowls.
I first came across them last year in Pittsburgh at a very small show called "Nordic Wood Fire", hosted by Standard Ceramics and part of the 2007 NCECA conference.

I really love good pinch pots, especially simple bowls and admire anyone who can manage to sell them. I've made a lot of pinched bowls and have only managed to sell them to potters. Non potters don't seem to understand them.

I'm kind of in awe of people like Pricilla, who's had two shows of her bowls at the Galerie Besson in London, Jimmy clark, Paulus Berensohn, Mary Rogers and others.

Berensohn is the master and wrote the best book on pinching pots, "Finding One's Way With Clay: Creating Pinched Pottery and Working With Colored Clays". It was back in print a few years ago but seems to be out again. It's worth looking for.

I discovered the book while I was still at university and it changed my life. I spent the whole next term pinching pots. I found that my throwing was very much improved when I returned to throwing, the next semester. I'd developed such an intimate sense of the clay.

Berensohn notes, in his book, that it's very difficult to make decoration work on pinched pots. A unity of form and decoration is especially important. In his case, he did this by going to colored clays. I think, with her wood firing and simple decoration, Pricilla has really achieved this. They are wonderful pots!

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