Anyhow- I've been carving some mugs, making them with a wider base and a straight sided cylinder shape instead of the small base with slanted sides which I was making before. The small based mugs are awfully tippy, there is some sort top to bottom width ratio that I am missing out on there I think, and I don't have the uninterrupted time at the moment to work out a better angle- I may do that in the future. The wider bottom gives the mugs a really stable feel, originally I felt like the straight cylinder was a bit clunky, but it's growing on me now, and I really like it as a shape for carving, it has an appealing straightforwardness. Also it makes the rim quite even, without losing the charm of hand building so I like that.
I've also been carving a few of them too- which is much less time consuming on a small scale, and I really like that, I like the lavishness of a hand carved mug, something a bit extra special for an everyday purpose, I think that's where functional handmade items shine. I've also been tinting some slip and doing some Sgraffito work, some little tests, which I'm pretty excited about, they don't photograph well at all- because the slip needs a firing to make it darker, but it's basically coloured slip inlaid into the clay body, I'll show some images when/ if ever I get the kiln fired.
For the record this is what the majority of time spent in my studio looks like:
I really love the idea that it takes ten thousand hours of dedicated practice to become masterful at something, at the rate I'm going, I'm sure I'm mastering something... though it likely isn't ceramics. Whenever I meet up with someone who asks me about what sort of art I've been making lately, I have to resist the urge to point to my kids and call them art.