Pete Pinnell on Cup: The Intimate Object
I spent the morning packing up my cups for this year's Cup: The Intimate Object exhibition. This yearly show at the Charlie Cummings Gallery is now in its eighth year. A few years back juror Pete Pinnell recorded a short video that covers many important ideas about hand made ceramics and their place in the art world. I always appreciate the simplicity with which he structures an explanation. If you haven't seen this video already I highly recommend you watch it. (Click here to watch it on YouTube.) Most of the video is quote worthy, but one particular sentence jumped out at me. It sums up the relationship between proximity and intimacy that fuels my desire to work within a hand held scale.
"One of the great powers of the cup, the simple cup, is that it immediately enters the viewer’s most intimate zone. The cup right away develops a level of intimacy that we would reserve for a lover…not for a stranger."
In this quote proximity is a method to increase intimacy. Another method would be to design the object itself to encourage intimacy. Either through volume or texture I entice people to handle my forms. (These potters make pots that I want to pick up as soon as I see them. Chris Gustin, Geoffrey Wheeler, Chris Staley) Through the act of cradling I want the user to humanize the form. The fullness of a bowl and the bulge of a pitcher call to mind the curves of the human body that create a desire to be held.
The yunomis I am sending for The Intimate Object show my recent jump into carving textures. I hope they are touch worthy cups that find a good home. The show opens in October at www.claylink.com.