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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Judy Shreve said...

Did you have to remove the Leach video? I was looking forward to watching it.

Russel Fouts said...

Sorry, it will eventually go back up again. I thought I knew who owned it and would have had their permission if that were the case. I'm currently trying to find the owners to get permission. If I don't find them. It will go up anyway and we'll ask for forgiveness if anyone take issue.

Sorry again. Come back to see it. It's REALLY worth it.


Judy Shreve said...

I'll look for it. I wanted to watch it this morning but I didn't have time. Then when I came back - it was gone. I'm glad to hear you'll post it again.

Becky said...

Hi, Russel. Thanks for posting these wonderful pix. I'm just beginning to explore pinch pots and Ms Mouritzen's are quite the inspiration.

Just found your blog (through the comment you left on mine) and am enjoying it very much.

Elaine Spallone said...

I am glad to have found these photos and your comments. Beautiful work. I too love pinching, and is about half of my work. I too was inspired by Paulus' book and by meeting him at Penland a few years back and have found that when I return to other methods of working with clay, I am so much more informed because of pinching and the intimate relationship developed!! As you know.

Russel Fouts said...

To anyone who is still following this thread and missed the Leach Pottery visit video. It's back up. I never found out who owned it so I'm going to risk it and put it back up again. Enjoy.

Russel Fouts said...

Thanks for the comments on the pinch pots. I was in the states week before last to visit my parents and managed to fit in some time to work with some potter friends.

It was wonderful to sit in the garden and pinch pots and talk. I learned a trick for opening the ball that will save my wrists. My friend Marta is so clever. ;-)

Unfortunately, I had to leave it all there because there was no time to bisque and no way to bring the dry pots home.

Some went to friends and some will go in a wood firing. Maybe I'll get pictures.

But it really inspired me to make more.

Only problem is selling them. I've made lots but only ever managed to sell two. The rest end up getting given away or traded with other potters.

Oh well. At least they got made.


Joe Troncale said...

Thanks for posting the pinch pots. I really love doing pinch pots, but seeing how elegant they can be gives me a lot of inspiration to improve and explore them more...
Thanks again.