Monday, January 19, 2009
How Do You ?
I am curious, how do you sign your pottery? Above is a ceramic disc with my initials impressed with a stamp and my signature. See how clear the stamp is compared to my signature. But the stamp is, well, so plain looking and not very artistic. I scribed my signature with the back of a needle too, but it doesn't show up very well. For some pieces, I'll continue to use my signature, but sometimes the piece is so small I can't fit my signature on it. Stamps are quick and easy to use, they make a clean impression in the clay, and are much more visible and clean looking on the ceramic piece than my hand drawn signature tends to be.
Do you use a mark on your pottery? The stamp shown above with my initials is an inexpensive rubber stamp I had made and I use it without ink. I'd like to settle on a bit more stylized mark and either carve it in clay or have one made up, perhaps with a square border or circle around it. I'd like to stick with one type of mark or signature for all the ceramic pieces I make. Do you stamp some of your pottery pieces and sign other pieces?
We're all pretty familiar with famous ceramic marks or artist signatures, such as those of Newcomb pottery above. Signatures or marks are a way of identifying the maker of the pottery when the ceramic pieces has left the artist's hands or studio. Here's a signature of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
I thought deciding on a mark for my pottery was going to be so simple and the more I try to make something up, the more ideas I come up with. I need help narrowing down the choices. So I thought I would see how you sign your pieces, thinking this might help me make a decision. Looks like the star symbol was used with Meissen pottery throughout history.
Look at these Japanese marks, they are art in themselves.
Below are some ideas I've come up with, please let me know what you think. Since my name is Linda Starr, I thought I would use the L and the S or a star symbol. Do you think using the star symbol is too hokey? Please keep in mind I quickly made the examples below out of block letters, but they can be changed into more stylistic or script style letters or hand drawings. For now I've left off a border around the examples.
Example 10 is left blank on purpose, because that's going to be what I decide - that is - if I can ever decide. Perhaps if I learn how you sign your pottery, I'll be able to make a decision.
Do you hand sign each piece of your pottery? Do you vary the way you sign your pieces? Do you change from year to year? Do you put a date on your pieces? I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you sign or mark your pottery? As always, thank you for your comments.