What is lost with the mass production of pottery?
This vase on the left was made by the corporation Pottery Barn with a technique that involves a cracking in the glaze, also known as raku. My pot is also raku, but I created it in a classroom at McCallum. I chose to juxtapose these two processes because one is so unique and still an art form while the other process is a cheapening of art and has just become a decoration to put in the corner of a room. Corporate made pottery (Pottery Barn) has become a mass produced commodity and has alienated pottery from being an art.
With the mass production of pot after pot there seems to be less appreciation with this art form. Like I said earlier, it is cheapening pottery, the way people just buy these pots just to fill space in their homes gives no meaning to the art behind them. Pottery barn creates their pottery in mass with the same pattern template done over and over that they just slap on the pots they have created from molds. I have created my pot above on a throwing wheel and used a coiling technique to create my desired height and fired it in a simple kiln in class. I glazed it with handmade glazes by students in class and dipped half in white and half in a color called floating blue. I had no idea how the final outcome would turn out but that's what makes it art and so unique. It has some defects in the glaze and bubbles and pinholes that the glaze didn't reach but it makes the pot different and gives it character unlike a factory made mold.
Pottery originated as art with a purpose, typically for storage. The pot above from Pottery barn will most likely be used for putting decorative plants of some sort, or nothing at all. The style of pottery that I have created is made for storing large amounts of food typically, like kimchi. Along with storing food, the purpose for pottery could also be for cooking food, and distributing food as well. For example there is a technique for the lips of pots called a bevel-rim, allowing for easy pouring with no awkward dripping around the lip. There are intentional designs behind pottery, not just decorative features.