On Pinch Pots: Michael McDowell of Mudpuppy

On Pinch Pots: Michael McDowell of Mudpuppy

Whether you produce eco goods yourself, or just make an effort to buy them, you are playing a part in a type of appreciation for how things are made, where they came from, and actually promoting their use as opposed to just purchasing a "quick fix." We live in a fast-paced, throw-away society, but it's the creative process of our indie community and eco handmade world that forces us to slow down a little bit. It invites us to ask ourselves questions about the materials we use, their past life, and their future possible uses. A maker's process is focused and deliberate, and our community enables us to pay more attention to that process, bringing us closer to the makers themselves.

Our new column Redefine will ask artists to define one term involved in their process. Through this definition, we as buyers will learn a little bit more about the art, from conception to realization. While clicking to purchase a handmade product online is quick and easy, buyers often miss out on quality interactions between themselves and the artist. We want to not only increase awareness of what we are actually purchasing, but also increase appreciation for the process itself, thereby celebrating the handmade lifestyle.

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Who: Ceramicist Michael McDowell of Mudpuppy
Redefine: "Pinch"

The process of letting go and allowing one's voice to resonate through their hands, breathing life into clay.

Michael loves "how accessible [pinch pots] are to everyone yet each person that makes one creates something unique to themselves." He goes on to say...

I started out by working on making perfect pinch pots and then when I finally ended up making thin, perfect pots I felt let down cause I realized there was no voice in them any more. It sent me back to the drawing board with the objective of getting back to that state we are in as children where you make for the sheer joy of the process without critiquing and overworking pieces.

Michael suggests the book Finding One's Way With Clay: Pinched Pottery and the Color of Clay by Paulus Berensohn for further reading on Pinch Pots.

Shown above the jump from left to right

1 Reef Cenote Pinch Pot, $20.00 from Mudpuppy
2 Shells Trio Pottery Pinch Pots, $25.00 by Tierrasky
3 Lona Bowl, $25.00 from Lorikoop
4 Large Gloss White Pinch Pot, $48.00 from R2GIRLSDESIGN
5 Favors Custom wee bowls, set of 20, $105.00 from Panopoly

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