POTTERY LOVE

ASHTRAY 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT SORRY ABOUT THE DUST ON ORIGINAL SLIDES

IN 1963 MY WIFE JOANNE AND I VISITED PAOLO SOLERI OUTSIDE PHOENIX AT COSANTI. PAOLO HAD A BIG SPREAD IN FORUM MAGAZINE AND I WAS DRAWN TO HIS WORK. SOLERI AND HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE (THAT LOOKED AFTER HIS WELFARE OF DEALING WITH THE PRACTICAL THINGS IN LIFE) MADE A PROFOUND AFFECT ON MY LIFE. THEY WERE LIVING IN A SMALL RANCH STYLE HOUSE ON A FEW ACREAS OUTSIDE SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA WHICH HE NAMED COSANTI. BUILDING EXOTIC EARTH MOUND BUILDINGS FREE OF CLIENTS. ANOTHER BLOG ON PAOLO. ONE OF HIS WAYS OF GENERATING MONEY WAS TO MAKE BELLS. IN FACT I CAN SEE A SOLERI BELL EVERY DAY HANGING AT THE ENTRY OF MY MONUMENT HOUSE NEXT DOOR HERE IN OREGON, THAT IS NOW POSSESSED BY NEW OWNERS. ANOTHER BLOG.

ASH TRAY 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

AT THE TIME I WAS WORKING FOR A PROGRESSIVE ARCHITECTURAL FIRM OF SMITH AND WILLIAMS IN SOUTH PASADENA. JOHN LAUTNER REFERRED WHITNEY SMITH TO ME. AFTER THREE MONTHS THERE, I WAS SUDDENLY FIRED BY WHITNEY SMITH,WHO PRAISED MY WORK, BUT RESENTED MY STATEMENT THAT “THE OFFICE COULD BE A LOT BETTER,” HE SAID I REMINDED HIM OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND HIS PARTNER WILLIAMS. I THINK PAOLO’S ADVICE THAT I SHOULD NOT SPEND TIME IN A REGULAR OFFICE, BECAUSE THE THINGS I LEARN THERE WILL BLOCK MY CREATIVE THINKING PROCESS, HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY RESTLESSNESS. WHITNEY SMITH 18 YEARS LATER MOTIONED TO HAVE MY GREEN MACHINE BUILT AT AN ARCHITECTURAL CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO. A VERY GUTSY MOTION THAT WAS APPRECIATED BY ME.

I DECIDED, TO HELL WITH ARCHITECTURE , I WOULD MAKE MONEY OFF A DESIGN ITEM LIKE ARCHITECTURAL POTTERY ON A SMALL SCALE. ALSO I WOULD GIVE ARCHITECTURAL TOURS OF LA IN MY NEW VW BUS WITH OPEN TOP, AND MAKE A BOOK ON LA ARCHITECTURE WITH BARON WOLMAN A PHOTOGRAPHER FRIEND. I DIDN’T SEE ANY POTTERY ON THE MARKET AT THE SCALE I WANTED TO WORK AT, AND THE LARGER ARCHITECTURAL POTTERY WAS SIMPLE POTS FOR PLANTS. I HAD DONE A FEW CERAMIC THINGS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON THAT WERE ONE OF A KIND AND NOT ALL THAT GREAT. I LOCATED A POTTER THAT USED TO WORK AT DISNEYLAND MAKING DINOSAURS, THAT TAUGHT ME TO MAKE MOLDS TO CAST POTTERY. WITH A FIVE PIECE MOLD I COULD MAKE VERY COMPLICATED SHAPES. I USED THE CLAY TO MAKE THIN SHELL ARCHITECTURAL SHAPES. I REALLY GOT OFF ON SHAPING THE CLAY, LIKE DRAWING ONES FINGERS ACROSS A WET NUDE BODY. I STARTED IN A PREDICTABLE ORGANIC MANNER THAT MIMICKED THE ORGANIC POTTERY OF THE DAY , BUT EVOLVED TO DRAW UPON MY STRUCTURAL KNOWLEDGE AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN SENSE.

RICHARD DOORMAN, ARCHITECT 1963 APARTMENT 2/6/12 PHOTO AHDE LAHTI

MY LATE UNDERSTANDING MOTHER, BACKED MY WILD CERAMIC IDEA WITH A MONTH OF SURVIVAL MONEY. WE HAD TWO SMALL GIRLS CHRISTINE AND LUCIA AND LIVED IN A MODEST APARTMENT COMPLEX WITH A POOL IN WEST LOS ANGELES, THAT WAS QUITE PLEASANT DONE BY RICHARD DOORMAN ARCHITECT. GREGORY AIN’S DAUGHTER LIVED NEXT DOOR.

IF ONE JUST TAKES A ROLL OF WET CERAMIC CLAY 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER AND SQUEEZES IT WITH PARTIALLY OPEN WET FINGERS A GUTSY FORM APPEARS THAT RESEMBLES A HOT WATER FREE STANDING RADIANT HEATER USED IN MY GRAMMAR SCHOOL AND NOW USED WITH ELECTRIC OIL HEATERS THAT FREE STAND. TAKING THAT SHAPE AND ROTATING IT INTO A ROUND POT BECAME MY FIRST DESIGN. I NEVER PUT THAT RATIONALITY INTO THE DESIGN, BUT THAT WAS THE SHAPE THAT APPEARED.

WHALE BONE POT 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

WHALE BONE POT 1963

A CASTING SYSTEM STARTS BY BUILDING AN EXACT CLAY OBJECT OF THE DESIGN. THEN MAKING IT SOLID, LIKE A MASSING MODEL. YOU PLACE THE OBJECT IN AN OPEN TOP PLYWOOD BOX WITH TEMPORARY SIDES AND MAKE A SERIES OF PLASTER SECTIONAL CASTS AROUND THE OBJECT THAT YOU CAN PULL OFF WITHOUT DAMAGING THE ORIGINAL. THE ORIGINAL IS SET ASIDE AND THE PASTER SECTIONS ARE HELD IN PLACE WITH BIG RUBBER BANDS, I CUT CAR INNER TUBES FOR BANDS .

LIQUID CERAMIC CLAY IS THEN POURED INTO THE PLASTER MOLD. THE PLASTER SUCKS THE WATER OUT OF LIQUID CLAY AND CREATES A MEMBRANE AGAINST THE PLASTER. THE LONGER THE TIME THE LIQUID CLAY IS ALLOWED TO STAY IN THE MOLD THE THICKER THE MEMBRANE. ABOUT AN 1/8 INCH THICK IS ADEQUATE , THE REMAINING LIQUID CLAY IS POURED OUT OF THE MOLD. YOU THEN PULL THE MOLD SECTIONS ONE AT A TIME OFF THE FINISHED MEMBRANE, WHICH IS NOW THE SHAPE OF YOUR ORIGINAL PIECE. THE BEAUTY OF THE SYSTEM IS YOU CAN MAKE HUNDREDS OF POTS OFF THE SAME MOLD AND USE THE UNUSED LIQUID CLAY TO MAKE MORE POTS.

THE SHAPE IS RIGID AT THIS TIME , YOU CUT HOLES WITH A KNIFE AT THE MARKED IMPRESSIONS, SOUNDS DIFFICULT, BUT IT IS VERY SIMPLE AND CAN BE DONE WITH MINOR INSTRUCTION TO TEACH AN ASSEMBLY LINE OPERATION. I AM NOT A PERFECTIONIST, SO THE MOLDS COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER AND THE SURFACES CLEANER. ONCE THE DESIGN IS SET I LOSE INTEREST IN MAKING EVERYTHING PERFECT. I REALLY NEED A PERFECTIONIST TO FOLLOW ME TO FINISH OFF THE DETAILING.

CANDLE VASE 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

CANDLE VASE 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

THE GLAZE I NEVER MASTERED. IT IS APPLIED WITH A BRUSH AFTER THE BISQUE FIRE AND THEN THE PIECE IS FIRED AGAIN TO SET THE GLAZE. THE SHAPES WERE SCULPTURAL, SO ANYTHING OTHER THAN A SIMPLE ONE COLOR DESTROYED THE LOOK. I LIKE DRIPPY MULTICOLOR GRAZES, BUT THEY VISUALLY DESTROYED THE SCULPTURAL SHAPE. SO I ENDED UP WITH CRACKLE WHITE, MATT WHITE , BROWN, MATT BLACK. I NEVER GOT THE RIGHT GLAZE. IT TOOK MONEY AND WORKING WITH REGULAR CERAMIC PEOPLE THAT WERE CLUELESS TO MY SHAPES AND INTERESTS.

I WORKED OUT OF AN OUTDOOR WORK SHOP IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA. FOR A MONTH, BEFORE REALITY SET IN THAT THE POTTERY, BOOK AND TOURS WERE NOT AN IMMEDIATE GENERATOR OF CASH AND I TROTTED OFF TO SAN FRANCISCO AND GOT A REAL JOB AT ANSHEN AND ALLEN ARCHITECTS. BARON WOLMAN MY CLOSE PHOTOGRAPHER FRIEND, THAT PHOTOGRAPHED WOOD STOCK, PUBLISHED THE MAGAZINE RAGS IN SAN FRANCISCO, AND A BOOK “PROFILES” OF BREASTS (A MUST BOOK TO HAVE), HE CONFESSED TO ME HE ENDED UP SLEEPING WITH MOST OF THE MODELS. BARRY CAME FROM MEANS AND LIKED MY THINGS, SPONSORED SOME GLAZE TRIES, AND WE DID GO TO ONE ARTY DEPARTMENT STORE IN SAN FRANCISCO TO PITCH THE LINE. BARRY IS HAVING A COMEBACK AND HE HAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED “THE ROLLING STONES YEARS”. LOOK HIM UP ON GOOGLE. I TALKED TO HIM ABOUT HIS BOOK TOUR. HE LOVES ALL THE ATTENTION. DURING ONE OF MY FREE TIMES AFTER MY FIRST MARRIAGE, BARRY LINED ME UP WITH ONE OF THE MODELS, I TOOK HER TO A FUNCTION AT THE BRADBERRY BUILDING IN LA WHEN I WAS A PROFESSOR AT CAL POLY POMONA . SHE WAS LOTS OF FUN, SMART, AND GOOD LOOKING, BUT DUMPED ME, BECAUSE SHE SAID I WAS TOO STRAIGHT, A ROLE MODEL PROFESSOR ETC.

THE POTTERY PROCESS REQUIRED SEED MONEY AND A LOT OF MARKETING TO PUSH. A COMMON SHORT COMING IN MY LIFE. ROBERT ANCHEN LIKED THEM AND BOUGHT SOME, AND I WAS TOLD UPON HIS DEATH WHEN HIS PERSONAL ITEMS WERE BEING TAGGED. MY STUFF WAS CLASSIFIED AS SCULPTURE. I THINK THEY HAVE UNIVERSAL BEAUTY QUALITY AND STILL COULD BE MARKETED. THE MOLDS ARE IN MY GARAGE IN LA.

THE ORGANIC POT CALLED WHALE BONE WAS MY FIRST TRY. I LIKED THE RANDOMNESS AND OVERALL BONY LOOK. ITS FUNCTION WAS FOR PLANTS OR FLOWERS. MY DAUGHTER YASMINA USES ONE FOR A CANDLE MOOD LAMP. THE SINGLE CANDLE HOLDER POT WAS SECOND FOLLOWED BY THE TRI CANDLE POT. A BIT TRICKY TO MAKE, BUT DOABLE. AFTER THE CUT OUTS THE POTS NEED TO BE SLIGHTLY RUBBED WITH A WET SPONGE OR HAND TO EASE THE CORNERS OF THE CUTS. THE TRI CANDLE HOLDER NEEDED MORE HAND WORK THAN THE OTHERS. THE CONCEPT WAS A BUILD UP OF THE CANDLES GETTING HIGHER . I WAS BIG INTO THE SPIRAL AT THIS POINT IN MY DESIGNS. THE FRONTAL ELEVATION BEING MY FAVORITE VIEW. THE FUNCTION WAS TO PUT FLOWERS IN THE POT PART AND THE CANDLES IN THE OBVIOUS PROTRUDING THREE PRONG TAPERED HOLDERS. OVER THE YEARS CHILDREN AND EX WIVES COLLECTED THE POTS, I HAVE BUT A COUPLE LEFT.

TRI CANDLE VASE 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

TRI CANDLE VASE 1963 GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

THE LAST POT I DID WAS THE ASH TRAY. NOT BEING A SMOKER, THIS WAS MY SOLUTION. VERY SCULPTURAL BUT NOT ALL THAT EASY TO LAY THE CIGARETTE ON NOR HOLD IN YOUR HAND. PEOPLE ARE CONSTANTLY NOT SETTING IT ON ITS LEGS. IT HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED BY A REAL SMOKER THAT IS INTO VISUAL SCULPTURE. SO MAYBE IT WILL WORK. THE PATTERN IS TWO TRIANGLES AT DIFFERENT HEIGHTS. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I GOT IT ALL TO COME TOGETHER, BUT IT FLOWS. THE SHAPES I PREFER ARE IN MOTION. I CARRY THIS ASHTRAY IN MY TRAVELS BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE AND WEIGHT TO REMIND MYSELF THIS IS THE LOOK I WANT IN MY ARCHITECTURE: STRUCTURAL, SCULPTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL.

POTTERY WAS LIKE GOING TO A CANVAS AND PAINTING . I FOUND THE WHOLE PROCESS SO REFRESHING. I BEING A BIG BELIEVER IN BOOSTING THE SCALE ON SOMETHING TO GET A DIFFERENT FUNCTIONAL USE, WHY NOT INSTEAD OF POT SCALE, HOUSE SCALE? NOW THERE IS A CHALLENGE FOR BUILDING TECHNOLOGY LOVERS. MAYBE A FIVE PIECE MOLD THAT YOU SPRAY ON A LAYER THAT DOES EVERYTHING: STRUCTURAL, INSULATION, AND FINISH. I AM SURE THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

I HAVE DONE A FEW BLOGS ON PERSONAL ITEMS LIKE FURNITURE THAT I HAVE DESIGNED, AND TO MY AMAZEMENT THERE ARE ALMOST NO COMMENTS. WHICH MAKES ME THINK THE READERS SEE NO CONNECTION BETWEEN FURNITURE AND IN THIS CASE POTTERY AND ARCHITECTURE. ARCHITECTURE IS A FUNCTION AND FORM THING THAT THIS BLOG DEMONSTRATES. HOW ONE MANIPULATES ALL THAT PRODUCES OBJECTS OF USE AND CREATES VISUAL STIMULATION. I AM NOT DEFENSIVE, BUT CURIOUS ABOUT THE SILENCE. IT IS ALRIGHT TO DISCUSS FORM. ARCHITECTS DO IT ALL THE TIME. THIS WAS WAY BEFORE MY GREEN INTEREST AND YET BIOMORPHIC AND ORGANIC LOOKING. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTO NATURE, CLIMBING TREES AS A KID AND ROMPING IN THE OCEAN.

IN HIGH SCHOOL, AN OLDER KIDS UNCLE UP THE STREET HAD A GREEN HOUSE AND HE RAISED ORCHIDS, HE WOULD GIVE ME FREE ONES THAT WERE GETTING OLD.
I WOULD THEN TAKE THEM TO THE FLORIST AND GET THEM DONE UP RIGHT FOR A CORSAGE FOR MY DATE. THUS, MY DATE HAD TOP OF THE LINE STUFF WHEN I HAD VERY LIMITED FUNDS. I WAS IN LOVE WITH THE COLORS AND SHAPES. A LOT TO BE LEARNED HERE. NATURE BEING THE FORM INSPIRATION FOR ME.

…I BEING A BIG TIME FAN OF THE IRIS

FORM IN MOTION

DEVILS POSTPILE, CA.

JOANNE , I AND BABY CHRISTINE VISITED DEVILS POST PILE AT MAMMOTH LAKES , JUST SHORTLY BEFORE I DID MY POTTERY. ALL THAT TWISTING WITH A REGULATED INTERLOCKING BLOCK. I WAS AT THE LUMBER YARD YESTERDAY LOOKING AT A TRASH CAN FULL OF LUMBER CUT OFFS ABOUT 1″X1″ AND TWO FEET LONG, KNOWING THAT I COULD MAKE SOMETHING GREAT OUT OF THEM BY SLIDING THEM AND ATTACHING THEM. BUT IT WAS A BIT TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH, A FEW MINUTES LATER I LOOKED FOR THEM, BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. THE DUMP HAD CLAIMED THEM.

TO THIS DAY I TREMBLE WITH DELIGHT WHEN I VIEW ONE OF MY POTS. A TRUE LOVE AFFAIR.

GLEN

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17 comments

  1. Hi Glen,

    Nice work. I feel that sculpture gives us an opportunity to be more creative than architecture, as you are not limited by structure and function.

    Would have loved to see the tri candle as a house.

    Why did you limit yourself to doing sculptures only in the year 1963?

    You mention that the moulds are in your garage in LA? I trust this is your house in Venice? Did you end up selling it to move to Oregon?

    Am waiting for the time when we can print our own art as 3D objects at home.

    http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/3d-printing-saviour-or-piracy-tool-20120207-1r2mm.html

    Cheers

    MITM

    • GREETINGS MITM

      AS I SAID IN THE BLOG I WANTED TO USE THE CERAMICS TO EARN MONEY. THE POTS TOOK A LOT OF WORK AND IT REQUIRED A FULL TIME COMMITMENT TO DO PROPERLY. I WAS NOT IN THE POSITION TO SPONSOR ALL THE EXPENSES TO BRING THEM TO MARKET, SO I WALKED AWAY FROM CERAMICS. I WORKED A LITTLE MORE WITH THEM IN NAPA VALLEY WITH RICHARD STELTZNER. HE HAD AN OLD WINERY AND DID CERAMICS, IT WAS ANOTHER OF MY WILD DREAMS THAT WAS IMPRACTICAL. RICHARD NOW HAS A FULL FLEDGED WINERY NAMED AFTER HIM. RECENTLY HE WANTED ME TO DO HIS HOUSE, BUT HIS WIFE BONGED ME. LOOK HIM UP ON GOOGLE. HE NEEDS MY HELP BIG TIME. I NEVER MEET HIS WIFE. AFTER 1964 I DID NOT GIVE MUCH THOUGHT TO CERAMICS UNTIL 1968 WHEN I TESTED SOME GLAZES IN VENICE. A NIGHTMARE WITH A LOCAL CERAMIC GUY WHICH TERMINATED MY INTERESTS.

      I DO GET OFF SEEING THEM USED AROUND ME, BUT FOR SOME REASON I AM NOT CHALLENGED TO DO MORE. I KNOW WHAT IT TAKES. BUT IF I HAD A SPONSOR, I WOULD BE UP FOR MORE. SUCH A FREE FLOWING MEDIA.

      THE HOUSE IN VENICE WAS SOLD. SHORTLY AFTER MY DIVORCE FROM MILICA, THE TRAMA IS MENTIONED IN THE MOVIE. THE STORAGE GARAGE IS SHOWN AS WELL.

      THE PRINTING 3 D LINK YOU REFERRED WAS GREAT. IT IS ALL HAPPENING.

      I KNOW MY PRESENT WIFE CHRISTIAN WOULD LOVE ME TO DO A SCULPTURED HOUSE. THAT IS A POSSIBILITY IN NICARAGUA WHERE THE RESPONSIBLY LIES WITH THE ARCHITECT. YOU GOT ME THINKING.

      KEEP CLOSE,

      GLEN

  2. Dear Glen

    This is what a nature based aesthetic looks like. This is different.

    This is not symbolically humanist, like the Greek and Romans, with ‘male’ Doric and ‘female Ionic ‘ columns and rules of hierarchy.

    This is not symbolically Subjective, with gestures of emotion, one-of-kind quirks and personality as such., expressed as individual psychology.

    This is Biomorphic. It is imitative of nature, gender neutral, and primitive in spirit, like a newborn, full of potential yet linked to the earth, sky, and sea.

    This is an aesthetics of hope.

    This is what I see, think and feel.

    eric chavkin

    • ERIC,

      I NEED TO CHILL OUT A LITTLE AND JUST ENJOY BEING ALIVE. YOU PUT MEANING IN MY LIFE WHERE OTHERS DARE TO TREAD. THE TURMOIL THAT CONSUMES ME IS NOT GIVING VENT TO HOW MUCH JOY I CAN BRING TO OTHERS WITH BIOMORPHIC DESIGN. SLAP MY FACE, FOR ME TO COUNT MY BLESSINGS.

      GLEN

      • Cool, chill is good. The beach must be wonderful at this time.

        Does anyone else read this stuff of mine? your kids? Milicia? I write for them too, as well as you, with strongly worded poetics.

        When I write I try to paint ideas and not just write words. You see, I imagine what i write and describe what I see and feel. It is already there, in front of me. All I do is take notes. It briefly comes, and then goes, like a struck match.

        I am not as fortunate as you to live amongst the trees, the ocean and beach. The everyday beauty that is so close by to you are like a million matches that light and burn bright. I wish I was there with you, with the waves, the sand and the ocean breeze. maybe soon.

        eric

        • ERIC,

          THERE COMES A PRICE WITH NATURAL BEAUTY SURROUNDING ONE. IT IS CALLED ISOLATION. THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO SOUP UP OUR CITIES WITH NATURE, BECAUSE CITIES OFFER HUMAN EXCHANGE WHICH IS A BASIS NEED OF MAN. EVEN AMONG WHAT I CALL SOCIALLY LIBERALS HERE, I FEEL IN ISOLATION. HOW DOES ONE COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE THAT WOULD RATHER BE IN A DING BAT ENVIRONMENT RATHER THAN THE MAGICAL SPACIAL WORLD I ENVISION. I WAS TALKING TO A MAN THAT REMODELS HOMES HERE, HE TOOK A 10 FOOT CEILING AND REDUCED IT TO 8 FEET, BECAUSE HE FELT IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR HEATING. NOW THAT IS PRIMITIVE. HOW CAN I DEAL WITH SUCH THINKING, I CAN NOT.

          AS I TYPE THIS ON MY LAP TOP FROM MY STUDIO. I AM LOOKING INTO A FOREST OF TREES, NOT A MAN MADE THING IN SIGHT. WHAT A JOY.

          ERIC YOU WOULD GO CRAZY IN ABOUT A WEEK FOR LACK OF MENTAL STIMULATION. TRUST ME.
          IT IS HIPPIE CONSERVATISM. WITH A BUNCH OF RED NECKS AS WELL.

          I AM REGROUPING TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL.

          GLEN

          • READERS,

            JUST WHAT I PREDICTED, VERY FEW WANT TO TALK ABOUT SENSUOUS POTS.

            I WATCHED A PBS DOCUMENTARY ON JOHN MUIR. I TOTALLY RELATED TO HIM ENERGIZED BY NATURE. THE BEAUTY TO BE SAVED FOR THE MASSES TO EXPERIENCE.

            I ALWAYS WANTED TO TAKE A GROVE OF TREES AND PUT A GLASS ROOF ON TOP AND SAY THIS IS YOUR HOUSE OR OFFICE. BEING THAT THE MASSES LOVED THE GROVE OF TREES, BUT DID NOT CONSIDER IT AN ENVIRONMENT TO LIVE NOR WORK. THAT IS THE SAME WITH POTS.

            GLEN

  3. Glen,

    what can one say about a few sculptures and pottery? Subjectively you can like or dislike the forms, like or dislike the designer, like or dislike the use. Some would not like an ashtray because it holds cigarettes. None of this mean much to me.

    My approach is to describe, name or identify the image or ‘visual structure’ as I see it.

    In your case, all the forms derive their image thru biomorphic imitation. You even name the source of some of the inspiration. The candle holders and vase mimic mammalian pelvic bones, the whale pot perhaps a decayed sea urchin, the ashtray as some enlarged radiolaria skeleton.

    One can imagine, and this is critical, the presumed natural forces that shaped the forms: the compression massing, the tensile extensions, the structural ribs, the concave skin, etc.

    The interplay of perception and imagination gives the forms interest beyond a ‘what is it’. like or dislike evaluation. The forms allude to a parallel biology of here-to-unknown fossils. Balanced in your hand or held in your arm, these are specimens from an undiscovered place. A boneyard of extinct creatures that never had an evolutionary chance. A dead and forgotten biology from some imaginary past or alternative future. A Glen Small Dinotopia

    These little things that are left unsung are fragments to a possible future as. well as an imaginary past. The hard ceramic surface and soft shapes echo a possible primitive ecology. They are the bones upon which sits the flesh of the future biosphere.

    eric chavkin

  4. ERIC,

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ELEGANT PROSE AND KEEN INSIGHT.

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG WAS TO SHOW MY WORK AND BUILD UP A READERSHIP THAT WOULD LEAD TO A BOOK.

    THAT HAS HAPPENED AND A LOT MORE, BUT I AM ASKING FOR DIALOGUE.

    I KNOW OF NO OTHER ARCHITECT THAT HAS DONE COMPLEX MOLDED CERAMIC POTS THAT THEY HAVE PERSONALLY CONSTRUCTED. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE BEING IT MADE ME AWARE OF THE ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL OF THESE SHAPES AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESSES. MY MOLDED APARTMENT UNITS FOR THE BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE ARE VERY SIMILAR.

    THROWING A POT ON A WHEEL OR BUILDING A ONE OF KIND SCULPTURAL PIECE IS QUITE DIFFERENT.

    THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING WITH AESTHETICS, STRUCTURE, AND CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUE FOR THESE POTS WAS ARCHITECTURAL RIGOR.

    WHAT I AM SHARING ARE ALL ASPECTS OF MY CAREER . AN EPIC OF A STORY THAT I ENJOY TELLING.

    GLEN

  5. Glen,
    I think the pots are very evocative, and in many ways more accessible than the architecture. There’s an interesting tension between architecture (which combines art with pragmatic concerns) and art (which can be more direct). Your pots, while somewhat practical, have a freedom that isn’t always evident in architecture – even yours.

    My younger son was immediately fascinated by the pots – the combination of structure and emotion. He’s beginning to work with ceramics at school (mainly coil and sheet), so he has some appreciation for the challenges of the medium.

    I wish these were available on the market. One think we could think about is getting them scanned for production using a 3D printer. Shapeways is one company that does this: you can upload your design to a library, and people can buy copies, manufactured specifically for them.

    I wonder if there aren’t commercial potters (a more adventurous Heath Ceramics, for example) who would be interested in doing something with your designs?

    Anyway, production possibilities is a sidebar. What I’m really trying to say is that your pottery has a very strong immediacy and appeal.

    And I agree with Eric’s erudite insights.

    • TIM,

      INTERESTING INSIGHT, I HAVE NEVER VENTURED INTO BUILDING IN SUCH A SCULPTURAL MANNER. MAYBE THAT IS MY CALLING. IT SURE WOULD BE FUN TO DO.

      THE MOLDS ARE SITTING IN MY GARAGE IN LA READY TO BE ACTIVATED, AGAIN IT REQUIRES AN AGENT TO PUSH AND GET SOME CERAMIC COMPANY MOTIVATED TO PRODUCE. I COULD PRODUCE A TON MORE DESIGNS IF THEY WERE SOUGHT AFTER. AND THE BEAUTY IS THAT THEY WOULD BE REASONALBE TO MAKE WITH THE MOLD SYSTEM AND QUANITY DEMAND.

      TELL YOUR SON TO LOOK UP HOW TO MAKE MOLDS . IT IS DIFFERENT THAN WHAT HE IS DOING. THE CERAMIC CLASSES DO NOT TEACH IT, BUT THE INDUSTRY IS SET UP TO PRODUCE THIS WAY.

      IT IS RATIONAL AND THIN SHELL, BECAUSE THE CLAY IS SO THIN.

      GLEN

      • READERS,

        EXHAUSTED THE COMMENTS. I ANTICIPATING COMMENTS ABOUT EARNING A LIVING AS AN ARCHITECT BY AUGMENTING INCOME WITH A COMPATIBLE FIELD OF DESIGN. CHARLES EAMES WAS A PRACTICING ARCHITECT, BEFORE HE DEVOTED HIS EFFORTS TO INDUSTRIAL DESIGN. MY NEXT BLOG.

        I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WHILE IN ACTIVE ARMY RESERVE IN 1958 AND MET A FELLOW THAT WAS A RADIO ENGINEER. HE MADE GOOD MONEY AND CONVINCED ME TO TRY THE FIELD TO AUGMENT MY INCOME BY TAKING A TEST THAT ONLY REQUIRED A SHORT MONTH LONG CRAM COURSE TO PASS. AFTER RETURNING TO OREGON TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION, I DISCUSSED RADIO ENGINEERING WITH MY PROFESSOR EARL MOURSUND, EARL LOOKED ME IN THE EYE AND SAID, YOU ARE AN ARCHITECT, CONCENTRATE ON THAT. I HAVE NEVER REGRETTED DOING SO, BUT AS WE ALL KNOW THE FIELD PAYS POORLY IF YOU ARE SELECTIVE ,ESPECIALLY IN ROUGH ECONOMIC TIMES.

        A RECENT GRADUATE THAT EARNED MORE WAITING ON TABLES THAN IN FULL TIME ARCHITECTURE , SAID I SHOULD DO A BLOG ON EARNING MONEY IN ARCHITECTURE. I DO NOT THINK I AM QUALIFIED TO DO SO, SENSE MY INCOME IN PRACTICING ARCHITECTURE IS MARGINAL.

        GLEN

    • FINE HOME ACCESSORIES,

      THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS.
      I AM SORRY THAT I DID NOT GET BACK TO YOU, I JUST SAW YOUR COMMENT.
      I NEED TO CHECK COMMENTS ON MY BLOG. WHAT HAPPENS IS I GO ONTO A NEW BLOG AND PEOPLE CONTINUE TO COMMENT ON OLD BLOGS.

      YOU ARE A FIRST. BEING A COMMERCIAL RETAILER RESPONDING TO MY POTTERY. I HOPE YOU WILL SEIZE THE MOMENT AND WE WILL PRODUCE POTS FOR THE PUBLIC. I WILL ATTEMPT TO CONTACT YOU.

      GLEN

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