Sunday, September 15, 2013


As promised, here's a brief look at Vol. 2, No. 2, and Vol. 3, No. 1 of The Studio Potter magazine.

V2 N2 WINTER 73/74

On page thirteen, Carl and Jeanne Judson have a conversation about apprenticeship in which Jeanne speaks about one of their favorite apprentices, Jerry. She says Jerry "came out of a factory where they did slip-casting and made moulds . . ."(yes, it was printed with the "u"). Her husband responds, "I wouldn't be inclined to call that experience. I think the world of slip-casting and the world where pots are thrown are light-years apart." They're different, I'll agree, but light years? Some would say the same about three-dimensional printers now. The wheel, the mold, and the printer are all tools . . . none can function in a studio arena to produce finely crafted objects without our most elemental tools: the hands.

"12 Potters from Detroit" are highlighted in this issue. I would like to say a lot more about some of these folks who I happen to have met in person during my time (2004-2007) in the Detroit area. I can't squeeze it in this post, so I've provided some links for your perusal.

Robert Piepenburg
Barbara Tiso
Georgette Zirbes
Marie Woo
Gordon Orear
James Powell
Richard deVore
Alan Vigland
John Loree
John and Suzanne Stephenson
J. T. Abernathy

At the end of this issue, some fan letters were published including one that called for potters' birth dates in order to conduct an astrological study. I have doubts about that ever having come to fruition.


This issue highlights "19 North Carolina Potters".  Here they are with some links to online sites/info:

Ben Owen, Joe Owen, Jugtown Pottery and M.L. Owen
Ron Propst
Zedith Teague
Julie and Tyrone Larson
Katie Bernstein
Cynthia Bringle
The Cole's Pottery
Dorothy and Walter Auman
Jane Peiser
Tom Suomalainen

On heavy stock paper in that quintessential seventies olive drab, SP printed an entire section dedicated to alternative firing methods and fuels including a proposal for methane gas firing and solar powered firing. Paul Soldner wrote the introduction in a style balanced with humor and sincerity that I admire. He begins by telling a story of an encounter with a safety inspector at Scripps College, where he was teaching at the time, in which he is amused by the inspector pointing at a firing kiln, gasping, "There are flames coming out of that!" The inspector later returns "with the power of a stack of OSHA regulations and the voice of DOOM".  Soldner dryly states, "Today he his no longer amusing." The rest of the introduction is meaningful and concise about the future of energy consumption and looming changes afoot in the last decades of the twentieth century. However, this little intro is not void of the broad, sweeping spirit of the American maker; he states, "I am optimistic enough to think that art and artists will always continue to find the ways and means to survive."

I would rather flourish, but I'll take survive for the moment.

A bit of a strange compilation of images and writings appear at the end of this issue by Barbara Tiso, including this image on page 72:

Next up: SP V3 N2 and V4 N1. Including: 

West Coast Bound: 25 California Potters

And this: