Saturday, 31 March 2007

Kristin and Nina going Ohrsk

.. at Klæbu, Norway. The image over shows two ceramic objects made by Kristin Opem, which I bougth from her on my vistit to Klæbu just recently. I also visited her workshop and was allowed to try my abilities at the potter's wheel. To my sorrow I've never realy managed this technique, but with some instructions from Kristin and a litle time for my self at the wheel I did manage better than I ever have done before.
Kristin's great idol is the american potter George Ohr (1857-1918), also called the mad potter from Biloxi.
Ohr's skills exploded when he became an "artist-potter." His claim there were "no two alike" was true. The pinched, folded and twisted clay forms,thinness of the clay wall, fluidity of form, tendril-like handles, and freshness of Ohr's the creations illustrate a technical skill that is still unrivaled. One hundred years later, potters marvel at his skill and cannot rightly say exactly how it was done. Critics of the day praised Ohr's glazes, but as his admiration for pure forms executed in clay increased, he left many pieces unglazed in bisque form. He believed only in this state could the form be clearly perceived. Today we have a legacy of Ohr's bisque pieces that act as a sampler of his pinches, folds, and fabulously thin-walled clay creations.

And I must say I share Kristin's enthusiasm after having poked my nose into the marvellous book about Ohr which lays on her kitchen table.
My poor attempts at the potter's wheel ended up a litle more Ohrsk than I had planned, but then again, the deform and even vulgar seem to come rather easy to me.

My vulgarisms in clay.

The day after, me and Kristin had a session in her pottery: she was making thin vases at the potter's wheel, I was deforming them.... Together we are OHR! (No images of the result yet.)
Links to George Ohr HERE, HERE,HERE, HERE, HERE.
A new Ohr Museum is under construction in Biloxi, Missisippi, USA, drawned by Frank Gehry. It was damaged by the Hurrican Katharina, but is expected to open in 2007.

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