The leaves are from Acer floridanum, a native Florida maple tree, in our front yard. This medium sized maple tree has small leaves for the size of the tree but the fall color is wonderful. There are hundreds on the ground. I know they'll deteriorate soon, so I gathered a few leaves to enjoy in my studio.
I fooled around making some test tiles from scraps of slabs yesterday experimenting with transferring leaves coated with slip and overlapping slip colors to see how they fire. This was the first attempt and the leaves are blotched.
This next one has a taupe color of slip background which I haven't used before. This ladder of leaves is 11.25 inches tall and 3.75 inches wide and fairly thin. After I made this one I thought this size would be nice as a group of three, five, even seven. I'll see how the slip colors fire on all my test tiles before I make any tile panels.
Later I made this small, almost miniature, purple topiary shrine with left over pieces of clay cut from previous shrines. This shrine is 8 inches tall and 4 inches wide and three inches deep. I planned to make red roses but I didn't put detail in them so they look like apples. Perhaps I should make a snake tempting someone to partake of the fruit. I might add a little bird in there somewhere. I'll go back and change the color of the stem and pot to make them contrast more. I keep rolled slabs of clay wet by putting them in a sandwich of plastic and wrapping them. They'll stay fresh for several days to use at a later time. If I keep them in plastic too long the slabs start growing mold.
After the flea market yesterday Gary drove over to the gallery to see which items sold. The woman working there told Gary my work was craft and might sell better at a flea market. I guess this type of attitude about pottery stems from folks thinking pottery is craft and painting is art. Maybe pottery is both craft and art. But I think painting is the same, both craft and art. It's probably very lucky I wasn't there when she said that. Perhaps she wouldn't have made this remark to me and I wouldn't know how some in the gallery perceive my work. And maybe this person feels the same way about the other pottery in the gallery as well. I do think if my work went through the jury process to get into the gallery, those working in the gallery should be upbeat about the work no matter what their personal opinion happens to be. At least that's what I would do for other's work if I was working there.
Now my apple topiary shrine might be craft, but I don't think my portrait wall tiles or other shrines are craft. I realize my work isn't like other work people may have seen. Maybe my work is perceived as folk art, outsider art, funk art, or avant-garde? I think my functional work is within the normal range, whatever that may be. Anyway pottery - art, craft, or both, does it matter? My work isn't factory made, it's hand made, one of a kind, made with thought and care. This post is part of Artists in Blogland Show and Tell Saturday. Comments and suggestions are most welcome.