Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Inspiration: WIlliam Moorcroft

William Moorcroft, Eventide Pattern, (source)

William Moorcroft, (source)

William Moorcroft, Orchid, (source)
Moorcroft Pottery can be a bit confusing, because it's still made today, not by William Moorcroft of course, but by a pottery that uses his name and his style- they continue his tradition if you will. And it's all beautiful stuff- but it's not all made by William Moorcroft- and it sort of makes me see the issues with Art pottery, and originality, and capital A art. Because Pottery is not necessarily an 'original' unique piece- often it's part of a set- and that set is replicated- you can order more Orchid patterned vases if you break one- it's replaceable- and therefore- somehow less special- or valuable- or something like that.

I still love art pottery- I love William Moorcroft's original works, but I do find the new ones a bit overly Glossy- or smooth. The thing I love about art pottery was this stubborn refusal to leave out the the marks that show how it was made- there are inconsistencies in the glazes, fingerprints, smudges. The things that I love about Painting, the things that show me that this piece was made by a human- but that are a little less acceptable somehow on pottery.

I think Pottery has always held a sort of smooth mystique- perhaps stemming from Chinese pots- which look manufactured- they are so perfect, but they are made by masters. And that's the ideal- because of course it means that you've mastered your craft and I respect that, but I still love a pot that looks worked- and much like the abstract expressionist movement- art pottery was very much about the medium, Glazes run, and scorch and bubble, it's an unpredictable medium, fingerprints are too easily preserved, and I like that.

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