Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Stamp Confession

My 'usual' stamp

I have a confession. I forget things, lose things, and generally sometimes wonder where the hours go. A few weeks ago while getting back into the studio after "Dish Camp" I realized I left my "Liberty Stoneware" stamps (lower case) in New York. Bummer. This revelation made something dawn on me. As I turned to my drawer of stamps, and resorted to using the all caps "LIBERTY STONEWARE" stamps, I thought about what historical potters did in these instances. I'm positive they forgot things, broke things, lost things, and also likely generally wondered where their daylight hours wheedled away to.
The stamps I resorted to in my haste

Many people who write about historical pottery and potters often pinpoint certain stamps, decorations, designs, etc. to "transitional" points in a potter's career, to an "early career" or some other term designating roughly when they think those designs or stamps were being used. I try to stray from using the term "transitional" for many reasons, but when I had to get out my other set of stamps out, I thought, "why wouldn't other potters have done the same thing?"
Another time when I tried something a little different with the numbers
Why wouldn't a potter perhaps have a whim to revisit an old design, use a different stamp, or perhaps use an old stamp if the other broke or was misplaced for the moment? Why do we have to make their careers so black and white through the motifs, stamps, decorations, etc.? Categorizing a potter's work may be helpful in some respects, but I have to think that they would chuckle a little to watch us so diligently try to categorize their lives. Forms change, I understand that, but the criticism of the stamps and the decorations drives me batty sometimes. Fifty years from now (with the hopes I'll still be making pots in fifty years) I will likely not remember when I did or didn't use one stamp or another, when I tried something new, or put a little different twist on a design, and now with my own kiln and my pots looking more coherent and similar to one another, how will anyone else know when I did one thing or another?
Prepping new kiln posts for the firing
In other news-- it's kiln firing time again! Loading it up and firing this weekend!


Dennis Allen said...

Hope you have fair weather and dry wood.

Liberty Stoneware said...

Me too! Thanks!