In my studio I'm often engaged in a creative state that I call "work shopping". This is where I have a solid idea/inspiration but I'm not exactly sure how all the details fit together. Its helpful to isolate the variables and then start rearranging them. I learned this in my 9th grade science class and it still helps me understand my own intuition. I find if I don't isolate the variables I change all things at the same time and have no idea why a particular combination works. I think many potters work completely on intuition. This can be exciting but it tends to yield results slowly.
With these teapots the variables I'm working with fit into two categories - form (handle, spout, body, knob) and surface (decoration, color, texture, sheen). The images I posted have similar forms but the surface changes dramatically as color is added. With monochrome pots I play with a variety of tints, shades, and surface changes (gloss - matte - satin). They educate me on the nuts and bolts of how the decoration schemes fit the form. I then color the pots like a coloring book by placing color on specific sections of the pot. From there I can keep making new versions until I find one that is worth repeating on a regular basis. If I reach a plateau with new decoration ideas I go back to the monochrome and work up new perspectives.
Color is an exciting mystery to me. I only recently (after 14 years of potting) have developed the ability to see color on my pots before I make them. Form comes first in my creative process. So now for an informal poll. Which color scheme do you like better- monochrome or color? Pros and Cons?