Final Friday - Mug Show - Josh Goering - Striped Baluster Mug
Clay is a storyteller, adept at recording fleeting moments and sharing them. The material retains a history of each action it experiences through a story told on its surface and in the form. I am a potter who is focused on making functional objects to record these intimate moments. I throw and trim in a slow manner to emphasize the role my hand plays. I brush and pour simple but reactive slips onto my works to show stages in the firing process, whether it is ash accumulation from a wood firing, subtle oxidation spots on a reduction fired bowl or simple wad marks on dark red clay. The surfaces range from austere and wintery to dark and dusky.
Since my last year of undergraduate study I have utilized local materials to harmonize my ecological mindset with the body of work I create. Wild clay speaks about place and geography, the voice of each clay varies in every region. One clay may be smooth and buttery containing a lot of iron, while across the river or under the field ‘over there’ it may be inundated with chunky sand and rocks. Local clays connect the work I make back to the landscape and ground it regionally telling the story of a material world at a certain place during a specific time.
I am constantly inspired by the characteristics present in old pots. Whether it is in the free flowing curves of the full and sturdy baluster jugs of medieval England, or the quality in the cut feet of simple rice bowls from the Joseon dynasty. The thread that connects them together is the casual approach to the making process and above all else the inherent clay quality that shines through.The pots I make are meant for daily use and to show the history behind the object. Throwing lines are made by pulling up, the pitted and undulating surfaces from scraping or trimming, finger marks are left in the slip from dipping and pouring. These subtle marks provide the user with an experience of discovery through the act of observing, drinking, pouring, or eating out of each object. The work is most successful when the qualities of the clay speak, the hand of the maker is evident, and the form and surfaces act as connecting lines to the past.